County commissioners will ask voters two tax questions
Trails/open space Tax question
“SHALL EAGLE COUNTY’S DEBT BE INCREASED BY NO MORE THAN $19.95 MILLION WITH A MAXIMUM REPAYMENT COST OF NO MORE THAN $32.7 MILLION, WITHOUT IMPOSING ANY NEW TAX OR INCREASING ANY EXISTING TAX RATE; WITH SUCH DEBT TO BE ISSUED FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING THE COSTS OF ACQUIRING AND CONSTRUCTING IMPROVEMENTS TO AND EXPANSION OF THE EAGLE VALLEY TRAIL FROM VAIL PASS TO DOTSERO AND OTHER RELATED IMPROVEMENTS, AND SHALL DEBT BE EVIDENCED BY BONDS, NOTES, LOAN AGREEMENTS OR OTHER FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS THAT MAY MATURE, BE SUBJECT TO REDEMPTION, AND BE ISSUED AT SUCH TIME OR TIMES AND IN SUCH MANNER AND CONTAINING SUCH TERMS, NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THIS QUESTION, AS EAGLE COUNTY MAY DETERMINE, AND BE REPAID FROM REVENUES DERIVED FROM EAGLE COUNTY’S TRANSIT SALES TAX, OPEN SPACE MILL LEVY, AND OTHER LEGALLY AVAILABLE REVENUES AS EAGLE COUNTY MAY DETERMINE; AND SHALL EAGLE COUNTY BE AUTHORIZED TO REFUND THE DEBT IN THIS QUESTION, PROVIDED THAT SUCH REFUNDING DEBT DOES NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM PRINCIPAL LIMITS OR REPAYMENT COSTS AUTHORIZED BY THIS QUESTION; AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH:
(I) SHALL THE EXPIRATION OF THE OPEN SPACE MILL LEVY EQUAL TO 1.5 MILLS APPROVED BY THE VOTERS IN 2002 BE EXTENDED FOR AN ADDITIONAL FIFTEEN (15) YEARS TO NOW EXPIRE IN 2040, WITH:
• TWENTY PERCENT (20%) OF SAID OPEN SPACE MILL LEVY REVENUES USED TO PAY SUCH DEBT AUTHORIZED BY THIS QUESTION AND THE COSTS OF ACQUIRING, CONSTRUCTING, IMPROVING, OPERATING AND MAINTAINING PAVED TRAILS THROUGHOUT EAGLE COUNTY;
• FIVE PERCENT (5%) OF SAID OPEN SPACE MILL LEVY REVENUES USED TO PAY FOR ACQUIRING, CONSTRUCTING, IMPROVING, OPERATING AND MAINTAINING UNPAVED TRAILS THROUGHOUT EAGLE COUNTY;
• AND THE REMAINDER OF SAID OPEN SPACE MILL LEVY REVENUES TO BE USED FOR WATER QUALITY PROTECTION EFFORTS AND FOR THE PURPOSES AUTHORIZED BY THE VOTERS IN 2002, INCLUDING ACQUIRING, MAINTAINING, OR PERMANENTLY PRESERVING OPEN SPACE IN EAGLE COUNTY TO PRESERVE WILDLIFE HABITAT, PROTECT WETLANDS AND FLOODPLAINS, CONSERVE SCENIC LANDSCAPES AND VISTAS, AND PROVIDE PUBLIC ACCESS POINTS TO RIVERS; AND
(II) SHALL THE PROCEEDS OF THE DEBT, THE REVENUES FROM THE OPEN SPACE MILL LEVY AND ANY OTHER REVENUES USED TO PAY THE DEBT, AND ANY EARNINGS FROM THE INVESTMENT OF SUCH PROCEEDS AND REVENUES BE AUTHORIZED TO BE COLLECTED AND SPENT BY EAGLE COUNTY WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY SPENDING, REVENUE-RAISING OR OTHER LIMITATION CONTAINED WITHIN ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION, OR ANY OTHER LAW AS IT CURRENTLY EXISTS OR AS IT MAY BE AMENDED IN THE FUTURE AND WITHOUT LIMITING IN ANY YEAR THE AMOUNT OF OTHER REVENUES THAT MAY BE COLLECTED AND SPENT BY EAGLE COUNTY?
Housing tax question
“SHALL EAGLE COUNTY’S TAXES BE INCREASED $5,400,000 ANNUALLY COMMENCING IN 2017, AND BY WHATEVER ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS ARE RAISED ANNUALLY THEREAFTER FOR A PERIOD OF TWENTY YEARS, FROM A THREE TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT (.3%) SALES TAX WITHIN EAGLE COUNTY TO BE USED FOR HOUSING PURPOSES SUCH AS:
• PROVIDING AND IMPROVING THE QUALITY, AVAILABILITY, AND AFFORDABILITY OF HOUSING IN EAGLE COUNTY
• PROVIDING DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE LOANS FOR HOME OWNERSHIP
• ACQUIRING LAND FOR FUTURE HOUSING UNITS AFFORDABLE TO THE WORKFORCE
• INVESTING IN PRIVATE/PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE PROVISION OF WORKFORCE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
• RELATED HOUSING PROGRAMS AND SERVICES;
AND, AS A VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE, SHALL THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH TAX AND INVESTMENT INCOME THEREON BE COLLECTED AND SPENT BY THE COUNTY WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY SPENDING, REVENUE-RAISING OR OTHER LIMITATION CONTAINED WITHIN ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION, OR ANY OTHER LAW AS IT CURRENTLY EXISTS OR AS IT MAY BE AMENDED IN THE FUTURE AND WITHOUT LIMITING IN ANY YEAR THE AMOUNT OF OTHER REVENUES THAT MAY BE COLLECTED AND SPENT BY THE COUNTY?
EAGLE — Eagle County voters, they’re all yours.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the county commissioners put two tax questions on the November ballot:
A sales tax projected to generate $5.4 million annually for workforce housing if passed.
Voter approval to borrow up to $19.95 million to finish the Eagle County Trail from Vail Pass to Dotsero, repaid with money from the ECO Transit and open space taxes, and extend the sunset on the open space tax from 2025 to 2040.
The trails proposal would allow county open space funds to be used to construct and maintain paved and unpaved trails without raising the current property tax.
The affordable housing tax would be a 0.3 percent sales tax — three cents on every $10 purchase — to support countywide workforce housing efforts. The tax would generate approximately $5.4 million per year.
So far, the plan for the money includes the following:
• Increasing the number of long-term, affordable rental housing units.
• Acquisition of land for future affordable housing developments.
• Providing down payment assistance loans to facilitate home ownership.
The tax would sunset in 20 years.
The county commissioners argued through two meetings whether to ask voters for a sales tax to pay for early childhood programs, but two of the three commissioners — Jeanne McQueeney and Kathy Chandler-Henry — decided against putting it on this year’s ballot. Commissioner Jill Ryan argued passionately for the tax question.
Instead, the commissioners directed the county staff to try to find $2 million per year in the existing budget that they could spend on recommendations in the Early Childhood Roadmap.
The commissioners spent $50,000 on that plan, to go with the $25,000 the school district spent. The study found that the county doesn’t have enough child care and that it’s expensive.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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