Voters asked to chime in on ballot issues
The ballot issues read as follows:
Ballot issue 3a: Shall aspen school district no. 1 (Re) taxes be increased by $991,000 dollars in 2015 for collection in the 2016 calendar year, and by such amounts as may be collected annually thereafter by the imposition of a mill levy which generates revenue, which together with the revenues produced by previous voter authorized tax increases of the district under 22-54-108, c.R.S., as amended, is not greater than twenty-five percent of the district’s total program funding plus supplemental cost of living adjustment, to be used for general fund purposes, which may include but are not limited to:
● Avoiding or reducing teacher layoffs;
● Avoiding increased class sizes;
● Continuing to attract and retain high quality teachers;
● Maintaining community valued programs;
And shall such increase be an additional property tax mill levy in excess of the levies the district is otherwise authorized by law to impose; and shall the district be authorized to collect, retain and spend all revenues from such taxes and the earnings from the investment of such revenues as a voter approved revenue change and an exception to the limits which would otherwise apply under article x, section 20 of the colorado constitution?
Ballot issue 3b: Shall roaring fork school district no. Re-1 debt be increased by $122 million, with a repayment cost of up to $229.8 Million, and shall district taxes be increased by up to $16.7 Million annually for the sole purpose of acquiring, constructing, repairing and improving district capital assets which shall include, but not be limited to, the following projects for which all expenditures shall be posted for public inspection on the district’s website:
• To provide local matching money required for the district to receive $9 million in state grants (which are not required to be repaid) under the “best” program for the preservation, renovation and improvement of the glenwood springs elementary school;
• To renovate school entrances to improve student safety and provide safer learning environments;
• To construct a new pre-k-8 school at the district’s eastbank property between glenwood springs and carbondale to relieve overcrowding and address enrollment growth;
• To acquire or construct affordable rental housing in basalt, carbondale and glenwood springs to attract and retain district teachers and staff;
• To repair and upgrade the basalt middle school auditorium;
• To update, revitalize and extend the useful life of middle school facilities in basalt, carbondale and glenwood springs to provide modern learning environments;
• To modernize school building heating and cooling systems by replacing outdated hvac units and make other energy efficiency improvements; and
• To acquire land to plan for a future school in the el jebel area to address future enrollment growth in the district;
By the issuance and payment of general obligation bonds which shall bear interest, mature, be subject to redemption, with or without premium, and be issued at such time, at such price (at, above or below par) and in such manner and containing such terms, not inconsistent with this ballot issue, as the board of education may determine; and shall ad valorem property taxes be levied without limit as to the mill rate to generate an amount sufficient in each year to pay the principal of, premium if any, and interest on such debt and to fund any reserves for the payment thereof?
Ballot issue 4a: Shall basalt & rural fire protection district debt be increased $3.9 Million, with a repayment cost of not to exceed $6.8 Million for capital improvement purposes including but not limited to:
• Acquiring additional affordable housing units for district personnel;
• Improving, renovating and remodeling basalt and el jebel stations;
• Acquiring fire apparatus and command vehicles;
And shall the tax increase authorized at the november 1995 election be extended and authorized to be used to pay the debt authorized at this election, in addition to the debt authorized at the 1995 election; and shall the mill levy be increased in any year, without limitation of rate, but only in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of, premium, if any, and interest on such debt and the debt authorized at the 1995 election and pursuant to this ballot question, or any refunding debt (or to create a reserve for such payment); such debt to be evidenced by the issuance of general obligation bonds or any other multiple year financial obligation of the district bearing interest at a maximum net effective interest rate not to exceed 6.0%; Such bonds to be sold in one series or more, for a price above or below the principal amount of such series, on terms and conditions, and with such maturities as permitted by law and as the district may determine, including provisions for redemption of the bonds prior to maturity with or without payment of the premium of not to exceed three percent; and shall such tax revenues and the earnings from the investment of such bond proceeds and tax revenues be collected, retained and spent as a voter approved revenue change under article x, section 20 of the colorado constitution or any other law?
Ballot issue 4b: Shall carbondale & rural fire protection district taxes be increased by $595,204 annually for a limited two-year period (for tax collection years 2016 and 2017) only with such increase to be deposited in the general fund for the purpose of funding the costs of, among other things, maintaining current levels of essential fire fighting and paramedic services, by a property tax to be levied at a rate of 1.75 Mills (such mill levy to be in addition to the mill levy currently imposed by the district) as a voter-approved revenue change under article x, section 20 of the colorado constitution and authorization to exceed the limitation contained in section 29-1-301 of the colorado revised statutes?
Ballot issue 4c: Shall the basalt sanitation district be authorized to collect, retain, and spend any and all amounts annually from state grant monies, and shall such revenues be collected, retained and spent by the district in fiscal year 2015 and in each fiscal year thereafter as a voter-approved revenue change, without regard to any spending, revenue-raising, or other limitation contained within article x, section 20 of the colorado constitution, section 29-1-301 of the colorado revised statutes, or any other law?
Ballot issue 5a: Without raising additional taxes, shall aspen valley hospital district’s existing property tax levy authorization of up to 1.5 Mills be extended from its current expiration of december 31, 2015 through december 31, 2020?
Ballot issue 5b: Shall white horse springs water and sanitation district debt be increased up to $1,000,000 with a repayment cost of up to $1,674,500, and shall district taxes be increased up to $99,625 annually to pay such debt, for the purpose of acquiring, designing and constructing improvements to the district’s water system; and shall the mill levy be increased in any year without limitation as to rate and amount sufficient to pay the principal of, premium, if any, and interest on such debt or any refunding debt; such debt shall be a general obligation of the district, may be evidenced by bonds or notes, to be sold for a price above or below the principal amount thereof, including provisions for redemption of the bonds prior to maturity; such debt shall bear interest at a net effective interest rate not to exceed 5.75%; And shall such tax revenues and investment earnings of such bond proceeds and tax revenues be collected, retained and spent as a voter approved revenue change and an exception to the limits which would otherwise apply under article x, section 20 of the colorado constitution or any other law?
Voters with strong feelings about any of the seven financial ballot issues that will appear on the November election ballot can write pro or con comments about them that will later be mailed to all voters to help them determine how to vote.
The notices will be published in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights that will be sent to voters 30 days before the Nov. 3 election, according to a statement from Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder Janice Vos Caudill.
Only eligible voters who live in the particular political subdivision that pertains to the ballot issue can submit comments, which must include a signature and where the writer is registered to vote. The deadline for comments is Friday, Sept. 18.
The financial questions come from seven different districts, and comments must be mailed to the designated election official for each issue. Here they are:
• Issue 3A involves the Aspen School District asking for a mill levy increase. The election official to write to is Angela Rittenhouse at email@example.com.
• Issue 3B asks voters to approve a tax increase for the Roaring Fork School District that would go toward construction and improvement of facilities. The election official to write to is Linda Fiske at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Issue 4A asks voters to approve a tax increase for the Basalt Rural Fire Protection District. Write to Jennifer Lemke at email@example.com with comments.
• Issue 4B would provide a mill levy increase for the Carbondale Rural Fire Protection District. Write to Ron Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments.
Issue 4C would allow the Basalt Sanitation District to accept and spent state grant money. Write to Denise Diers at email@example.com with comments.
Issue 5A would extend Aspen Valley Hospital’s current mill levy, which would expire this year, for another five years until 2020. The election official to write to with comments is Amy Trubiroha-Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Issue 5B would approve a tax increase for White Horse Springs Water and Sanitation District in Woody Creek. Write to Liz Bokram at email@example.com with comments.
To read the official ballot language for each question, go to Pitkincounty.com, then under the “I Want To” drop down menu, choose “read” and “community news,” then scroll down and click on the Pitkin County press release titled “Pros and cons about ballot issues now being collected.”
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To level the playing field between those who pay sales and lodging taxes on nightly rentals and those who skirt them, the city is ready to take names and make them pay.