Colorado Springs Issue 1A, 2009

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Colorado Springs Tax Issue 1A was on an April 7, 2009 mail-in ballot in El Paso County for voters in Colorado Springs, where it failed, with over 60% of voters voting against it.[1]

Background

The following text is the information provided by the city,

In 1989, the City issued general obligation bonds to build the Police Operations Center and a portion of Powers Boulevard and these bonds were subsequently refunded in 2004. The general obligation bonds will be paid off in September 2009. The City Council's Sustainable Funding Committee studied the issue of whether this property mill levy tax should be extended for the purpose of addressing a sustainable long-term source of funding that attracts, retains and creates quality jobs in Colorado Springs and made a recommendation to City Council for placement of this question on the April 2009 General Municipal Election ballot for the voters to decide.[2]

Arguments in support

The city provided the following claims:[2]

  • Issue 1A establishes a consistent funding source to create, attract and retain jobs in Colorado Springs over the next 16 years without raising taxes.
  • The City's property tax is one of the lowest in the state at its existing level of 4.944 mills which includes the .665 mills currently utilized for debt payments.

Arguments in opposition

The city provided the following claims:[2]

  • The City does not have the obligation to create, attract or retain jobs and it is not a core function of the City to market and promote Colorado Springs.
  • If Issue 1A is not approved, the annual property tax on a home with an assessed valuation of $200,000 will be reduced by .665 mills resulting in a savings to property owners of approximately $10.60 per year.

In their opposition to the measure, a Colorado Springs Gazette editorial argues,

1A is an 'additional' tax. It is a tax increase, during one of the most difficult recessions our country has faced. The .665 mill levy tax was approved by voters specifically to extend and improve Powers Boulevard. That tax has served its purpose, and is due to expire. In substance, 1A proposes an entirely unique .665 general property mill levy tax for something considerably more nebulous than improvements to a road. It promises 'jobs.' It's not the role of government to create private sector jobs, and nobody supporting this measure has produced a solid idea of how the money might accomplish the goal. Would the money be limited to jobs training and infrastructure projects, such as extension of utilities to prospective employers, or would it be used for cash incentives up front or in the form of rebates? Voters have absolutely no idea.[3]

Text of measure

"Without raising additional taxes, shall the existing .665 general property mill levy tax be extended from its current expiration of December 31, 2009 through December 31, 2025 to be used exclusively to create, attract and retain primary jobs, market and promote Colorado Springs, require City Council to create and appoint a five person Job Opportunity and Business Sustainability Committee with no more than two members of City Council appointed thereto, to make recommendations to City Council pertaining to the expenditure and use of such revenue, with all revenues and expenditures constituting a voter-approved revenue change?"[2]

External links

References