“Without raising additional taxes, shall the existing .665 general property mill levy tax be extended from its current expiration of December 31, 2009 through December 31, 2025 to be used exclusively to create, attract and retain primary jobs, market and promote Colorado Springs, require City Council to create and appoint a five person Job Opportunity and Business Sustainability Committee with no more than two members of City Council appointed thereto, to make recommendations to City Council pertaining to the expenditure and use of such revenue, with all revenues and expenditures constituting a voter-approved revenue change?”
The official website for proponents of Issue 1A is VoteJobsNow.com, and including a list of companies and individuals supporting the initiative. SaveTabor.com represents the opposition of Issue 1A. The following is a “factual summary” published by the City of Colorado Springs.
Issue 1A proposes to:
- Attract, retain and create quality jobs to ensure a diverse economic base, a resilient and growing City tax base and thriving neighborhoods;
- Establish a Job Opportunity and Business Sustainability Committee to commence work on the development of a plan to attract, retain and create quality jobs and broaden economic development strategies;
- Establish a sustainable long-term funding source to ensure that Colorado Springs is competitive with comparable communities in addressing the promotion of creating, attracting and retaining employers; and
- Establish a sustainable long term funding source available to City Council to market and promote Colorado Springs.
Issue 1A establishes a consistent funding source to create, attract and retain jobs in Colorado Springs over the next 16 years without raising taxes.
The City’s property tax is one of the lowest in the state at its existing level of 4.944 mills which includes the .665 mills currently utilized for debt payments.
The City does not have the obligation to create, attract or retain jobs and it is not a core function of the City to market and promote Colorado Springs.
If Issue 1A is not approved, the annual property tax on a home with an assessed valuation of $200,000 will be reduced by .665 mills resulting in a savings to property owners of approximately $10.60 per year.
Here’s how the candidates for city council responded when ask for their stance on Ballot Issue 1A:
Scott Hente (District 1): “Yes. Need to provide a fund for economic purposes. With the City’s current revenue structure, unless we are expanding businesses and sales tax revenue, we are in jeopardy of not being able to fund core services such as police and fire.”
Dave Gardner (District 3): “No. I’d like our community to put its energy into positive strategies to maintain a healthy local economy, and this measure is not it. This measure focuses too little on investing in our community and too much on the pipe dream we can import our prosperity. That approach is a miserable failure, but the homebuilding industry continues to push it because it ratchets up our population, growing the market for new houses. The end result is our unemployment rate stays the same, but the number of unemployed rises, and our home values actually are depressed because of all the subsidies to new subdivisions.”
Tony Carpenter (District 4): “No, Wasting 50 million dollars, paying businesses to move here. Putting more money in our citizens pockets is what I want.”
As of yet, Bernie Herpin (District 4) and Jerry Heimlicher (District 3) have not responded to my emails asking for their views. Disappointingly, Darryl Glen (District 2) did respond but said he didn’t have time to answer my questions via email but would take the time for a phone interview.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Issue 1B – Revenue Rentention for Essential City Services. Read more about the Colorado Springs 2009 Municipal Election.