Election: Voters to decide fate of tax, spending measures

A presidential election and U.S. Senate race have garnered much of Colorado’s political attention in recent weeks, but voters in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado have a number of other decisions to make on a variety of statewide and local ballot measures.

Statewide ballot measures include whether to repeal the Gallagher Amendment, which established a formula for commercial and residential property taxes; whether to approve paid family leave for workers; and a new tax on vaping products, among a host of other initiatives.

Locally, voters will determine whether to approve a number of tax and spending measures, along with other initiatives. Here’s a sampling of what’s to be decided in local communities:



Voters will decide whether to authorize the town to provide Internet, telecommunications and cable-television services, including, potentially, municipal broadband. Approval would free the town from restrictions in state law that limit a jurisdiction’s ability to provide such services without voter approval.



A requirement that no evictions could occur without representation is on the ballot in Boulder, with the program to be paid by a $75 excise tax to be paid by landlords.


Boulder will also decide whether to approve a new franchise agreement with Xcel Energy’s Public Service Company of Colorado, and whether to repurpose a utility-occupation tax, extending the measure for an additional three years, through 2025. 


Voters in Boulder will also decide whether the mayor should be elected directly, by ranked-choice voting, rather than by the City Council.



Broomfield voters will decide whether to allow a prohibition on retail marijuana stores to expire on Feb. 1, 2021, and whether to impose a 4% tax on retail marijuana sales. The tax measure would generate $2.2 million annually. The tax would be in addition to the city’s existing sales tax.


Voters also will decide whether to allow the city and county to annually adjust future mill levies for tax years 2022 and thereafter.



A 4% lodging tax is on the ballot in Eaton. If approved, the measure would generate $26,500 in its first year. Proceeds could be used for “any municipal purpose.”


Fort Lupton

Voters will decide whether to extend through 2031 a 0.5% sales and use tax for street improvements. Residents also will vote whether to allow establishment of medical and retail marijuana sales, and whether to impose a sales tax on retail marijuana sales



Greeley voters will vote on whether to extend the sales-tax on food to fund capital construction projects, maintenance, and repairs of public buildings, parks, streets and recreational facilities. The tax would be extended through 2026.



An $80 million debt measure to fund water-system improvements is on the ballot in Longmont.


The city also will vote on whether to allow leases of city property for up to 30 years.



Louisville residents will determine whether to impose up to a 25-cent fee on sale of disposable bags, with proceeds to be used for sustainability programs, and for the costs of administering the program. The measure could generate $2 million in its first year.



Voters will decide whether to increase the city sales tax rate from 3% to 4%. The additional 1% would not apply to food for home consumption. Proceeds would be designated for public safety (20%); infrastructure and capital equipment (50%); and operations and maintenance (30%).



Residents will vote on whether to increase taxes to fund street improvements and maintenance, with the first year generating $1.45 million. The town will also decide whether to increase taxes by $907,500 annually to fund the police department.


School Districts

Weld County School District RE-3J will vote to extend an override that would generate $3.3 million annually. The measure would fund safety measures, teacher attraction and retention, and other measures.


Weld County School District RE-5J will vote on a 10-year, $4 million annual tax increase to fund various educational programs. The district also will vote on a $149 million debt measure to finance school construction and improvements, with a total repayment cost of $276 million.


Weld County School District RE-8 will vote on whether to extend an override that would generate $1.4 million annually for teacher retention and upgrades of instructional technology.



Voters will decide whether to establish the town as a home-rule municipality.



Residents in Windsor will vote on whether to approve a 3% lodging tax that would generate $65,652 in its first year, with proceeds dedicated to promotion of local businesses, destination tourism, conventions and related activities.