HomeNews Town Council agrees on ballot wording for tax hike
Town Council agrees on ballot wording for tax hike
Written by Mark Reaman
Wednesday, 09 July 2014
Asking the voters for another half percent
The Crested Butte Town Council has settled on the ballot language it will use this November to ask residents to increase the town sales tax .5 percent.
Under the ordinance language that the council will consider at the July 21 meeting, additional revenue raised by increasing the Crested Butte sales tax to 4.5 percent from 4 percent would be used for Parks and Recreation facility maintenance and Parks and Recreation capital and programs. The council considered stricter language that would have earmarked the revenues only for facility maintenance and looser language that would have allowed the money to be used for any capital purposes of the town. But the council felt that dedicating the money to the Parks and Recreation Department would have the best chance of passing at the polls. “During the town hall meetings the issue of recreation came up,” said Todd Crossett, town manager. “The voters are likely to embrace the issue if the money is centered on Parks and Recreation.” Under the selected language, Councilperson Jim Schmidt pointed out that the money could also be used to leverage grants that would not be possible under the strict language option. “Bringing in this revenue to Parks and Recreation would open up the overall capital budget for the entire town,” pointed out Councilperson David Owen. Currently the majority of the town’s capital budget comes from a real estate transfer tax (RETT). Of the approximately $450,000 raised each year from the RETT, Parks and Rec claims well over $300,000. So by dedicating a new sales tax revenue stream specifically for Parks and Recreation, the RETT money will be available for other town projects. The council will look at a formal ordinance at the next meeting that will officially set the language for the ballot. That has to be done before July 25 to get on the November ballot. The town will then enter into an agreement with the county for a coordinated election. The ballot will be certified in early September. There will be a public hearing concerning the proposed language at the July 21 meeting.