BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — On Aug. 4, the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to put three ballot measures up for the upcoming November election.
“The Marshall Fire was our huge wakeup call,” Commissioner Matt Jones with Boulder County said.
Jones said the measures would introduce two new sales and use taxes to fund wildfire mitigation and emergency services, and to extend the county’s existing transportation sales tax.
The other measure would be to extend the already existing transportation sales tax.
Here are the ballot measures:
Wildfire mitigation ballot measure
A proposal to establish a 0.1% countywide sales and use tax for the purpose of funding countywide wildfire mitigation efforts to proactively address the increasing risk of climate-driven wildfires in two programmatic areas. The first is to conduct strategic forest and grassland management projects (using Fireshed partnerships) to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, protect drinking water supplies and create more resilient forest and grassland ecosystems. The second is to help and extend the Wildfire Partners program to residents in east county and continue work in the mountains to prepare for wildfires by making homes more fire-resistant using community partnerships, individual technical assistance, and financial assistance.
This ballot measure resolution was passed subject to replacing the word “rebates” with “financial assistance” with regard to helping homeowners make their homes more fire-resistant. A final version of the ballot will be added to the county’s website shortly.
Emergency response ballot measure
A proposal to establish a 0.1% countywide sales and use tax, declining to 0.05% after five years, for the purpose of funding emergency response, including facility, equipment, capital, and operational costs of search and rescue organizations; funding for the capital needs of fire departments in mountainous and rural areas; ambulance services in areas not covered by municipal ambulance services; wildland firefighting staffing; and other projects and services to address the need for emergency services and public safety in unincorporated Boulder County.
Transportation ballot measure
A proposal to extend the existing 0.1% countywide transportation sales and use tax for the purpose of continuing to fund multimodal transportation needs, including safety improvements to roads, regional trails and commuter bikeways, transit, regional transportation corridors, and community mobility programs. The county’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) provides a blueprint for Boulder County’s transportation system improvements for the next 25 years, including projects, programs and services throughout the county that provide mobility and connect people between Boulder County cities and towns, using all modes of travel. Learn more about the existing Boulder County Transportation Sales Tax.
Full text of the ballot measures, including recitals that provide background information, is available on the county’s website.
So, what would this mean for taxpayers if it were to pass? Jones said each one is a 0.1% tax, which is a penny on ten dollars. He said the goal is to be able to raise $11,000,000 for each measure.
“All of these things are really expensive,” Jones said.
Boulder County did a survey in April and May of this year to see feedback on wildfire mitigation, emergency services, and transportation measures. The full results and breakdown are available on the Boulder County website.