COLORADO SPRINGS — The city is holding a special election on November 5. There are two issues, both sent from city council, in front of voters: 2B and 2C.
2B asks voters to forgo their taxpayer refund for the year in order to fund $7 million in park, trail, cultural facilities, and sport facilities improvements ahead of the city’s 150th birthday.
In the city’s notice of an election, it estimates each household would receive a refund of $31 if the measure doesn’t pass.
The ballot text lays out exactly which projects would be funded with the money.
The city’s parks have a backlog of over $100 million worth of projects and staff is working on an asset analysis to update that list. Supporters of 2B say, the money would help chip away at that list.
“Parks should not be held hostage to seize your tax refund,” opponents of 2B say in the statement provided to the city’s clerk.
Opponents said in part, the $21 million ($14 million from the city, estimated $7 from the Trails and Open Space Coalition) is enough for the those projects to be covered.
The second measure is 2C, back in front of voters for a five-year renewal.
Currently, 2C money brings in $50 million and some change each year for road repairs and improvements.
In 2015, voters approved a 0.62 percent tax increase (6.2 cents per every $10 spent) and the second time around, the tax rate is lower at 0.57 percent (5.7 cents per every $10 spent). Despite the lower rate, supporters say Colorado Springs’ growing economy would bring in around $56 million each year.
According to the statement in support of 2C, groceries, gas and prescriptions would not be subject to the tax.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers has said before, residential roads will be the priority in the second round of 2C. The supporting statement says over 50% of projects would be dedicated to residential roads, but that is not written in the ballot text like the parks projects for 2B. A list of projects on the 2C list can be found on the City’s website.
In their statement, supporters say pothole repairs to cars are down 90%, the first five years of 2C repaved over 1,000 miles of roads on time and on budget, and the measure is “critical to improving our public infrastructure and maintaining the momentum we have in Colorado Springs.”
Ballots for the special election will be mailed out on October 14 and voters can expect them later that week. Election day is November 5 – all ballots must be returned by then. People can register to vote through election day.