Boulder City Utility Excise Tax (November 2010)

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A Boulder City Utility Excise Tax measure was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the city of Boulder which is in Boulder County.

This measure was approved

  • YES 24,341 (68.41%)Approveda
  • NO 11,239 (31.59%)[1]

This measure asked voters to impose an excise tax on the Xcel Energy utility company. The franchise agreement between the energy company and the city was scheduled to expire at the end of 2010 and near $4 million in revenues was estimated to be lost should the agreement not be renewed. This tax was proposed to help the city recover the potentially lost revenue.[2] The proposed utility tax is active for a period of five years and would not increase the fee rate paid by customers. It was noted that if the measure was not approved, the loss of revenues would impact the cities budget which would have to find services and programs to cut in order to balance the revenues.[3]

The campaign in favor of this measure officially launched the weekend of September 18. The campaign sought to educate voters about the tax, especially the desire of the city to find more renewable energy sources in connection with the tax. There was no formal opposition to the measure. The long term goal of the city was to reach goals set out in a 2006 agreement, either with or without the current energy company was yet to be decided. Lack of federal direction on renewable energy has left the city to make its own policy and pursue its own course of being less dependent on coal.[4]

Early voting on this measure was halted on October 27, due to incorrect ballot language being on the electronic voting machines. Though 312 voters had already cast their votes for this measure before the error was caught, the language was replaced with the open spaces initiative. The ballot title was correct, so it was believed those who did vote knew what they were voting on. Voting officials set to correct the language of the measure and resumed voting.[5]

References