November 7, 2023 Election – Issues

2023 Coordinated Ballot – Chamber Takes Positions on Local and State Issues

The November 2023 ballot will include two state issues while the Fort Collins City Council has placed five items on the November 7, 2023 ballot.  The state issues relate to Property Taxes and Retaining Taxes on Cigarettes, Tobacco & Other Nicotine Products while the local issues relate to  Limits of Holding Council Office, Relating to Referendum & Petition Requirements, Requirements that Certain Employees Live in FC, a New .50% Sales Tax to Fund Parks, Climate & Transit and a New 3 Mill Property Tax to Fund Affordable Housing.  Three of the issues will change our City Charter.

After in-depth review by staff, the Local Legislative Affairs Committee (LLAC), the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (NCLA) and the Board, the Fort Collins Area Chamber has elected to take the following positions on issues:

Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Position Summary
For the Election November 7, 2023
Ballot Issue Issue Title Chamber Position
Proposition HH Property Tax Changes and Revenue Change Measures Oppose
Proposition II Retaining Taxes on Cigarettes, Tobacco & Other Nicotine Products Not Reviewed
City-Initiated Charter Amendment No 1 Limits of Holding Council Office No Position
City-Initiated Charter Amendment No 2 Relating to Referendum & Petition Requirements No Position
City-Initiated Charter Amendment No 3 Requirement that Certain Employees Live in FC No Position
City-Initiated Ballot Issue Question No 1 .50% Sales Tax to Fund Parks, Climate & Transit Oppose
City-Initiated Ballot Issue Question No 2 3 Mill Property Tax to Fund Affordable Housing No Position

We invite our members to dive deeper into each of these issues, including considering the thought guides that were created for each issue (and are attached above).  As well, we provide the following letter that was sent to City Council on August 15.  It outlines much of the thought process and vision setting by the Chamber related to the two local funding issues:

August 15, 2023
Fort Collins City Council
300 Laporte
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Madam Mayor and Members of Council:
The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce applauds your efforts to address important funding shortfalls as we strive to refresh our parks, improve our transit network, address climate concerns, and increase the inventory of housing that is affordable to our workforce. These are big issues that demand our attention if we are to thrive as a community. Big issues can also be quite complex with precious few “Easy” buttons to go around.
While we may agree with the priority these issues command, we are concerned that the current funding solutions are out of context with our community at this moment of time. Many of our economic indicators suggest that Fort Collins has fully recovered from the impacts of the pandemic, but conversations with citizens and the business community suggests that the cost of living in our community continues to go up and that more and more of our community members are struggling to make ends meet and are unable to invest more into our government systems. As well, the return to the community for the increase in property tax and sales tax remains unclear. “Trust Us” has long proven to be a challenging way to pass increased taxes in Colorado.
The Chamber remains a committed partner to improving the health and well-being of our community. We are also deeply committed to the pursuit of fiscally sound policies that allow our community to prosper. Therefore, we strongly encourage this Council to table further consideration of raising taxes at a time when many of our fellow residents are struggling financially and suffering under the burden of economic insecurity.
City staff have invested considerable time and expertise in pursuing your evolving directions on this issue. Yet, they were never provided the direction to align strategic plan objectives with available resources, engage in a thoughtful assessment of how public funds are allocated to programs and services that no longer reflect needs of greatest import, nor reimagine the biennial budgeting process to assure our collective assets are well managed and available dollars flow to items of greatest priority to our residents.
As elected leaders, the responsibility now falls on your shoulders to fix the fiscal policies that have made this conversation necessary. We hope that you will take the bold move to avoid placing any items on the 2023 ballot, creating more time for an expanded and thoughtful community conversation.
Sincerely,The Fort Collins Area Chamber of CommerceAnn R. Hutchison President & CEO
cc: Kelly DiMartino, Travis Storin

Election Resources: 

At the Nov. 8, 2022 General Election, Fort Collins voters approved a Charter Amendment moving the regular City election to November in odd-numbered years. In 2023, the election will be conducted as a part of the Larimer County Coordinated Election.

Ballots will be mailed the week of October 16, 2023

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 website 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.  No Chamber Dues or Funds are being contributed to any of the issue campaigns.