Election 2018: Local ballot measures consider county being ISP, fire district mill levies and more | SkyHiNews.com

Election 2018: Local ballot measures consider county being ISP, fire district mill levies and more

Ballot Measure 6A: Grand Fire seeks adjustable mill levy rate

Voters within the Grand Fire Protection District will get the opportunity to vote on Ballot Issue 6A this November.

Ballot Issue 6A relates to taxes and the district’s mill levy rate. Voters within the Grand Fire Protection District will find the following language on their ballots this year under the special district measures’ section.

Ballot Issue 6A: Shall Grand Lake Fire Protection District No. 1 taxes be increased by $0.00 in collection year 2019, and only if the residential assessment rate decreases, shall the district’s operating mill levy rate be increased from the current rate of 4.427 mills and adjusted annually thereafter, remaining between 4.427 and 6.500 mills, to offset revenue losses from refunds, abatements, and changes in the law regarding, or the methods of calculating, the ratio of valuation for assessment; and shall all district revenues be collected, retained, and spent notwithstanding any revenue limits provided by law?

The district’s ballot measure asks local voters to approve adjustments in the district’s mill levy rate to make up for potential decreases in tax revenues on residential properties resulting from Colorado’s Gallagher Amendment, which restricts residential property tax collections to no more than 45 percent of the total property taxes collected. This requirement means that residential property tax assessment rates inherently decrease as property values increase.

The ballot measure does not raise taxes above current levels on property owners in the district in 2019. If approved property owners could find the district’s mill levy rate changing to make up for potential decreases in district tax revenue as increased property values continue to drive down the residential property tax assessment rate. Ballot Issue 6A would cap the potential number of mills that could be assessed by the district at 6.500 and would restrict the mill levy rate from going below the current rate of 4.427.

-Lance Maggart, lmaggart@skyhinews.com

Ballot Measure 6B: Grand Lake Fire seeks adjustable mill levy rate

Voters within the Grand Lake Fire Protection District will get the opportunity to vote on Ballot Issue 6B this November.

Ballot Issue 6B relates to taxes and the district’s mill levy rate. Voters within the Grand Lake Fire Protection District will find the following language on their ballots this year under the special district measures’ section.

Ballot Issue 6B: Shall Grand Lake Fire Protection District taxes be increased by $0.00 (zero dollars) in collection year 2019; and shall the district’s operating mill levy rate of 5.13 mills be adjusted annually so that to the extent possible, the district’s net tax revenues shall not be reduced because of refunds, abatements and changes in the ratio of valuation for assessment for residential real property, the revenue therefrom to pay for the district’s general operations and capital expenses related to fire protection, emergency medical and rescue services; and shall all district revenues be collected, retained and spent notwithstanding any revenue limits provided by law?

The district’s ballot measure asks local voters to approve adjustments in the district’s mill levy rate to make up for potential decreases in tax revenues on residential properties resulting from Colorado’s Gallagher Amendment, which restricts residential property tax collections to no more than 45 percent of the total property taxes collected. This requirement means that residential property tax assessment rates inherently decrease as property values increase.

The ballot measure does not raise taxes above current levels on property owners in the district in 2019. If approved property owners could find the district’s mill levy rate changing to make up for potential decreases in district tax revenue as increased property values continue to drive down the residential property tax assessment rate.

-Lance Maggart, lmaggart@skyhinews.com

Measure 1c: County wants to become internet service provider

When it comes to internet, not all residents of Grand County have the same options. A measure on this year’s ballot aims to address that by allowing the county to operate cable television, high-speed internet or telecommunications services.

The measure, which would permit the county to provide these services, but would not obligate them to do so, means the county would opt out of Senate Bill 152, which bars local government from offering telecommunications services unless they opt out.

Both Winter Park and Fraser have opted out of SB 152.

The goal of the ballot measure would be to allow the county to help unserved or underserved areas where internet service is not as fast or is unavailable. The county would be able to do this either by offering their own services or partnering with an existing internet provider to help expand their coverage.

Currently, according to BroadbandNow, about 4,000 people in the county don’t have access to the 25 megabits per second (mbps) that constitutes high-speed broadband internet.

There was some concern that passing the measure would mean the county would compete with existing private internet providers should they choose to offer internet services.

While County Commissioners Merrit Linke and Kris Manguso said at the Aug. 21 meeting that they are not currently interested in offering internet services, they believe the voters should be allowed to decide.

Commissioner Linke also said he believed it would be in the best interest of the county to have the option available to them should they need it, since they are currently barred from participating by SB 152.

-McKenna Harford, mharford@skyhinews.com

Ballot Question 2A: Granby looks to move municipal election date to Nov.

This November voters in the town of Granby will get the opportunity to vote in Ballot Question 2A.

Ballot Question 2A pertains to Granby’s regular elections, which have historically been held in April of even numbered years; as opposed to November in even numbered years, when county, state and national elections are held. Granby voters will find the following language on their ballots this year under the town measures’ section.

Ballot Question 2A: Shall the Town of Granby’s regular elections be moved from the first Tuesday of April in each even-numbered year to the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November in each even-numbered year?

Ballot Question 2A essentially asks Granby voters if they would like to begin holding the town’s municipal elections, during which town trustees and the town mayor are selected by voters, on the same date that county, state and federal elections are held. County, state and federal elections are always held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November on even-numbered years.

The measure would reduce costs for the municipal government related to postage and the hiring of election judges. If Ballot Question 2A is approved by the voters of Granby 2020 would be the first Granby municipal election that would be held to coincide with the general election date in November. If voters in the town do approve the measure all elected officials who would otherwise be up for reelection in April 2020 would see their terms extended for the additional months between April 2020 and the November 2020 election.

-Lance Maggart, lmaggart@skyhinews.com

Ballot Issue 2B: Hot Sulphur looks to eliminate property tax refund requirements

Voters in Hot Sulphur Springs can cast their ballots this fall on a variety of races and ballot measures including Ballot Issue 2B.

Ballot Issue 2B is related to tax revenues the town receives from property taxes and potential refunds of revenues imposed by state statutes. Voters in Hot Sulphur Springs will find the following language on their ballots this year under the town measures’ section.

Ballot Issue 2B: Without creating any new taxes or increasing any tax rate, for property tax revenue collected in calendar year 2018 and all future property tax revenue, shall the Town of Hot Sulphur Springs be permitted to levy, retiana nd spend such town revenues without the limitations that would otherwise be imposed by the 5.5% limitation under C.R.S. Section 29-1-301?

Under the Colorado revised statute listed in the ballot language Hot Sulphur Springs would be required to refund any property tax revenues the town receives in a given year that are more than 5.5 percent above the total property taxes collected by the town during the previous year. Ballot Issue 2B asks voters of Hot Sulphur to allow the town to retain all property taxes taken in the by town even if collections are greater than 5.5 percent more than what was collected the previous year.

The ballot issue does not raise taxes on property owners in Hot Sulphur nor does it increase the mill levy rate the town assesses, which is 11.95 mills. Voters in Hot Sulphur approved a similar measure in 2010, which included a sunset clause that expires in 2020. Unlike the 20101 ballot measure Ballot Issue 2B does not include a sunset clause and would eliminate, in perpetuity, the requirement to refund property tax revenues greater than 5.5 percent more than was taken in during the previous year.

-Lance Maggart, lmaggart@skyhinews.com

Ballot Question 2C: Hot Sulphur looks to move municipal election date to Nov.

This November voters in the town of Hot Sulphur Springs will get the opportunity to vote in Ballot Question 2C.

Ballot Question 2A pertains to Hot Sulphur Spring’s regular elections, which have historically been held in April of even numbered years; as opposed to November in even numbered years, when county, state and national elections are held. Hot Sulphur Springs voters will find the following language on their ballots this year under the town measures’ section.

Ballot Question 2C: Shall the Town of Hot Sulphur Spring’s regular elections be moved from the first Tuesday of April in each even-numbered year to the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November in each even-numbered year?

Ballot Question 2C asks voters in Hot Sulphur Springs if they would like to begin holding the town’s municipal elections, during which town trustees and the town mayor are selected by voters, on the same date that county, state and federal elections are held. County, state and federal elections are always held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November on even-numbered years.

The measure would reduce costs for the municipal government related to postage and the hiring of election judges. If Ballot Question 2C is approved by the voters of Hot Sulphur Springs 2020 would be the first municipal election for the town that would be held to coincide with the general election date in November. If voters in the town do approve the measure all elected officials who would otherwise be up for reelection in April 2020 would see their terms extended for the additional months between April 2020 and the November 2020 election.

-Lance Maggart, lmaggart@skyhinews.com


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