Castle Rock voters delivered a split vote on four tax measures proposed by the town in the 2021 election. Voter decisions will now require Town Manager David Corliss to revise the 2022 budget proposal.
According to the unofficial results, Castle Rock voters approved measures 2B and 2D and rejected measures 2A and 2C.
After the results, Mayor Jason Gray said, “We took very seriously asking the community for additional resources to fund important needs and are thankful for the support received on ballot questions 2B and 2D. These resources will help us achieve significant initiatives on the town's behalf.”
Ballot Measure 2D, calling for a 10-year TABOR pause, was approved, allowing the town to move forward with plans to hire more police and fire personnel and get help in paying for the $75 million reconstruction of the Crystal Valley Interchange at I-25.
According to the unofficial results, 2D was passed with 52.8% voting in favor of pausing what is known as the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. About 47.2% voted against it.
While Ballot Question 2D will help in funding police and fire needs, Gray said voters rejecting Ballot Question 2A will have a direct impact on how many police officers and firefighters can be hired. The town had hoped to use added revenues from 2A and 2D to fund growing public safety needs that have become an issue as the town's population continues to grow.
Measure 2A, a construction sales tax that would have applied an additional $7 per square foot for new home or apartment construction, failed. According to the unofficial results, 52.3% voted against the measure while about 47.7% supported it.
Ballot Question 2A was going to fund the town's five-year plan to add an additional 75 police officers and firefighters. If approved, Ballot Question 2A was expected to create nearly $14 million in added revenue in the first year of collections.
“With the failure of question 2A, challenges still remain in funding our public safety needs over the long term,” Gray said. “I expect we'll engage the community regarding potential solutions to this issue so we can come together and keep Castle Rock as great of a community years from now as it is today.”
After reviewing the results, town officials said the process to implement voters' wishes will now move forward.
“Over the next few weeks, we'll be working to implement the voters' decisions,” said Corliss. “We will also be reviewing our 2022 budget to reduce the proposed staffing plans for the town's police and fire services to reflect that voters turned down additional funding for those services. The town's budget going forward will continue to show the fact that our police and fire departments remain a top community priority as we reduce expenditures elsewhere in the budget to provide resources for public safety. Discussions about short-term and long-term options are already underway with the police and fire chiefs and town council.”
Corliss' proposed budget was created as if voters would approve all four ballot questions. With two measures being rejected, a revised budget will be proposed for council approval. In September, Corliss unveiled a $308 million budget for 2022.
Ballot Questions 2B and 2C asked voters to create new revenue streams to help fund parks and recreation department needs and purchase more open space.
According to the results that have been updated regularly since Nov. 2, Castle Rock voters approved 2B, a 6% lodging tax, with nearly 52% voting yes while about 48% voted against.
Ballot Question 2B is slated to help pay for more personnel in the parks and recreation department.
Voters rejected Ballot Question 2C, which would have implemented a .1% sales tax increase, equaling a penny for every $10 spent. More than 62% of those casting a vote in the election said no to 2C.
Measure 2C would have funded open space opportunities around the town.
A post-election statement provided by Community Relations Manager Melissa Hoelting said the town will lose an estimated $270,000 in anticipated annual revenue due to the rejection of 2C.
The town had estimated there was opportunity to accumulate more than $8 million in open space acquisitions by the year 2026, Hoelting said.
The council is scheduled to adopt the final, updated budget during the Dec. 7 meeting.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.