RFTA taxes win in valley | AspenTimes.com

RFTA taxes win in valley

Janet Urquhart

Additional tax support for the struggling Roaring Fork Transportation Authority has won approval throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

In New Castle, voters endorsed a proposal to join RFTA and institute a .4 percent sales tax to support the bus agency. Voters in Silt and unincorporated Garfield County, however, rejected ballot measures that would bring those jurisdictions into the RFTA fold as well.

The fate of the RFTA tax questions remained undetermined in the wee hours of today, with ballot counting in Garfield County continuing through the night. The clerk and recorder’s office there issued unofficial, final results shortly after 7 a.m.

Question 4B, which gives another .2 percent (2 cents on a $10 purchase) to RFTA, prevailed in Glenwood and Carbondale, 3,102-2,566, according to the final returns.

Question 4B also passed in Basalt and the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County.

Referendum 1A in Pitkin County, which devotes additional funds from an existing tax to RFTA, won by a huge margin. That vote encompassed Aspen and Snowmass Village, as well as unincorporated areas of the county.

Passage of 1A, however, was contingent upon passage of 4B and vice versa. Had 4B failed, Pitkin County was off the hook for additional RFTA funding, even though its measure passed.

Without additional tax support ” particularly from existing RFTA members from Glenwood to Aspen ” the agency was forecasting a 33 percent cut in service levels in 2005.

Given the results of Tuesday’s balloting, the cuts won’t be that severe, said Pitkin County Commissioner Dorothea Farris, chairwoman of the RFTA board of directors, this morning.

“It shows RFTA is doing a good job where people use the service,” she added.

In unincorporated Garfield County, the proposal to join RFTA and authorize tax support for the agency failed 5,259-3,417.

Silt voters turned down the chance to join RFTA by a 465-358 vote.

New Castle voters favored joining the agency by a 587-to-535 margin.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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