Chamber Takes Position on November 2014 Ballot Issues
Citizens of Fort Collins have a full ballot to consider on November 4. The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce has reviewed several of the issues on the ballot and offers the following recommendations.
The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce is:
• Supporting Larimer County Ballot Issue 1B – Continue Larimer County Jail Countywide Sales and Use Tax.
• Supporting Larimer County Ballot Issue 200 – Animal Care and Control Facility Sales and Use Tax and Debt Question.
• Supporting Larimer County Ballot Issue 1A – Continue Protecting Our Natural Areas, Open Space, Rivers and Wildlife Habitat.
• Opposing State Proposition 105 – Labeling Genetically Modified Food.
The Chamber Board has outlined their position on taxes in their Where We Stand document. The Chamber believes that taxes are part of the obligation we all have to pay for services we collectively use and need as citizens. To that end, business is willing to pay a reasonable level of taxes and fees for essential public services assuming that they are fair and reasonable and do not discourage business investment in Fort Collins.
In short, tax policy should promote a healthy business and economic climate that encourages investment in capital equipment and human capital. This philosophy guided the Chamber position on 1A, 1B and Issue 200. All three issues contribute to the quality of life in Larimer County and are important infrastructure and amenity investments.
The support of all three local issues come with cautions. The Chamber Board noted the following concerns:
• Issue 1A – Open Space does reduce the percentage forwarded to local communities which may be impactful to local programs and is a 25 year expansion of the tax. The length of the tax is concerning.
• Issue 200 – Larimer Humane Society Facility is a creative private-public means of developing a needed replacement facility that serves the entire county. Overall costs were cited as a concern but seem to generally be in line with this type of facility.
Videos of presentations by advocates for the three local issues are available below as well as additional resources related to all seven issues included on the Colorado Ballot.
Issues on the 2014 General Election Ballot
|State||Amendment 67: Definition of a Person and Child Recognizes unborn children as persons.|
|State||Amendment 68: Horse Racetrack Limited Gaming Proceeds for K-12 Education Establishes a K-12 education fund to be funded by expanded limited gaming at horse racetracks in Arapahoe, Mesa and Pueblo counties.|
|State||Proposition 104: School Board Open Meetings Requires open school board meetings for collective bargaining negotiations.|
|State||Proposition 105: Labeling Genetically Modified Food Mandates labeling of certain foodstuffs that contain genetically modified organisms. Chamber position on issue can be found here.
The Chamber is encouraging a NO vote.
|County||Issues 200: Larimer County Humane Society Financing for a new animal care and control facility ($5.5 M). County-wide sales and use tax of .1% (10 cents for every 100 dollars) for six years or until the debt is paid. Video of advocate presentation can be found here. The Chamber is encouraging a YES vote.|
|County||Issue 1A; Larimer County Open Space (Help Preserve Open Spaces) Continuation for 25 years of .25% sales and use tax (25 cents for every 100 dollars) for conservation and operation of natural areas, open spaces, rivers, working farms and ranches and wildlife habitat. Changes the split between City/County to 50-50 and updates county portion to allow for only 35% for new purchases. Video of advocate presentation can be found here.
The Chamber is encouraging a YES vote.
|County||Issue 1B: Larimer County Jail Tax Continuation of the .15% sales and use tax for jail operations. Commissioners are spurred by the lack of funds related to recovery from several disasters. Sunset in 25 years. Video of advocate presentation can be found here.
The Chamber is encouraging a YES vote.
STATEWIDE ELECTION DAY IS Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Polling places are open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with Early Voting beginning October 14, 2014. Check here to learn about ballot drop off locations and hours for early voting.
Only voters with an active voter registration status will receive a mail ballot. Check your Voter Registration Status at www.larimer.org or call the elections department at (970) 498-7820.
Larimer County Elections Site
President David May’s Blog
Colorado Blue Book
Issue 200 – Larimer Humane Shelter
Issue 1A – Open Space
Issue 1B – Larimer County Jail
Please note: The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to provide education, information and analysis of local issues and candidates specifically for its members. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are meant to give Chamber members a perspective that advocates for the business community and the city’s overall quality of life, and to give members insight into the potential impacts of local issues and candidates.