Three issues that affect the Tri-Lakes area will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. All three are tax issues with one issue specifically affecting the area and the other two affecting the entire county.
The Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District is asking citizens for a mill levy increase to help fund district operations. The district is asking for an increase of the property tax rate of 3.00 mills which would increase the current 8.50 mills to 11.50 mills.
If approved the increase would be approximately $1,034,208 annually to the district and help the district to continue operations at current staffing levels and response times and will help fund facility and equipment upgrades.
TLMFD has said that failure to pass the mill levy increase will result in the closure of one fire station and the lay-off of staff members.
Ballot measure 1A asks voters of El Paso County for taxes to be increased by $17 million annually to directly fund public safety needs. 1A would increase the county's sales and use tax rate by twenty-three hundredths of one cent ($0.0023) per dollar.
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa has identified urgent law enforcement, criminal justice and emergency response needs. The needs includes hiring, employing and training additional patrol and detention deputies, replacing obsolete and failing communication equipment and video surveillance, fuel, ammunition, operational equipment, supplies, maintenance at the county jail, purchasing a wild land fire truck and hiring additional emergency planning and operations staff.
5A asks the voters to extend the existing 0.55 percent (fifty-five one hundredths of one penny per dollar) of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority's sales and use tax to fund PPRTA's capital program.
The current sales and use tax will sunset on Dec. 31, 2014 and if voters approve the measure the tax will sunset on Dec. 31, 2024.
The county has several road and bridge projects that it will complete if 5A passes including some in the Tri-Lakes area. Beacon Lite Road, Monument Hill Road and Colo. 105 are just some of the roads on the list. Several of the county's projects are regional collaborative projects with the city or Colorado Springs.
Citizens should have received Tabor notices in the mail on the tax issues. The notice contains arguments for and against each measure.