Eagle County voters approve Gallagher relief for ambulance district
- Yes: 4,569 (61%)
- No: 2,930 (39%)
EAGLE — Eagle County Paramedics Services took its funding case to the voters Tuesday and got nearly $1 million in relief.
Early results from Tuesday’s voting had the issue passing with 4,519 (61%) votes in favor and 2,930 (39%) opposed.
The question sought voter approval for relief from the constraints of Colorado’s Gallagher Amendment. Passed in 1982, the amendment mandates that property tax collections are split between residential and non-residential property owners. Residential property taxes must be no more than 45% of collections across the state. Non-residential property owners pay 55% of the total.
But widespread residential construction along the Front Range has hit hard for Western Slope special districts. There isn’t enough non-residential tax base to cover the continual decline.
According to the ambulance district’s projections, the amendment provisions would have resulted in a potential annual loss of roughly $990,000 in revenue by 2022. That figure is even starker considering the district’s entire annual budget is $13 million.
“Obviously we are thankful to the voters for supporting us,” said Chris Montera, Eagle County Paramedics Services chief executive officer. “This allows us the ability to look and plan for the future and keep the funds the voters have already allowed us to have.”
Eagle County Paramedic Services is the latest rural special district in Colorado to ask voters for an exemption to the Gallagher requirements. Last year the Gypsum Fire Protection District and the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District asked for exemptions from the Gallagher Amendment.
With a pitched battle brewing in the state legislature over his signature “public option” health insurance bill (HB19-1004) from last session, state Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, is urging calm before the coming storm.