2010 Boulder County ballot issues

Voters hand county mixed results: Human services winning, while open space issue flags

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Boulder Weekly Staff

The vote on county ballot issues was too close to call by
press time on Tuesday, with voters seeming to prioritize human services over
open space purchases.

County Issue 1A was passing with 51.57 percent of the vote.
It asked voters to approve a 0.9 mill (nine-tenths of one mill) ad valorem
property tax increase for a term of five years to backfill significant gaps in
state funding for human services.

Using current property values for Boulder County, the mill
levy increase is expected to be about $7 per $100,000 in actual property value
(e.g., $21 for a property valued at $300,000) and should generate about $5.2
million per year for five years beginning in 2011, according to the county.

Already the county has made deep budget cuts to make up for
a $4.5 million deficit. County officials told Boulder Weekly that $2.3 million
of the revenue from the tax increase would be used for child care services. The
county has a waiting list of 600 to 700 children, and the list is growing.

But County Issue 1B appeared to be losing by an almost
identical margin, with 51.27 percent of voters opposed to a new open space tax.

County Issue 1B asked voters to approve a new 0.15 percent
sales and use tax for the next 20 years. The percentage would amount to one
cent on a purchase of $10. In addition, 1B would allow for the issuance of
bonds totaling $40 million, all for the purpose of purchasing open space.

Though county officials argued that the tax was necessary
for the county to make land purchases that were planned some 30 years ago, thus
realizing its plans for land preservation, opponents of 1B argued that a
recession was not the time to introduce a new tax.

If 1B is defeated, it will mark the second time since county
residents began taxing themselves for land preservation that an open-space tax
issue failed. A similar measure was narrowly rejected by county voters in 2009.

“I’m certainly happy to see that it looks like 1A is going
to pass,” says County Commissioner Will Toor. “I think that’s going to make a
big difference of being able to maintain services to families in Boulder County
over the next few years.”

Toor said he was “disappointed” that 1B appeared to be
headed toward a narrow defeat, but believes it may be due to the state of the
economy and the number of tax issues that county residents were asked to vote
on, both at the county level and at the municipal level. Voters may have felt
compelled to choose, he says.

“This is clearly a tough time to have an open space issue on
the ballot,” Toor says. “But there are pieces of land that are available right
now that we might not be able to acquire.”

As of 9:30 p.m.

COUNTY ISSUE 1A [Human Services Safety Net Mill Levy Increase] Votes Percent
YES 39,595 51.57%
NO 37,177 48.43%
Total Votes: 76,772
COUNTY ISSUE 1B [Countywide Open Space Sales and Use Tax Increase and Bond Authorization] Votes Percent
YES 37,891 48.73%
NO 39,871 51.27%
Total Votes: 77,762
CITY OF BOULDER ISSUE NO. 2A PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS TAX Votes Percent
FOR THE MEASURE 15,491 68.45%
AGAINST THE MEASURE 7,141 31.55%
Total Votes: 22,632
CITY OF BOULDER ISSUE NO. 2B FIVE YEAR UTILITY OCCUPATION TAX TO REPLACE LOST FRANCHISE FEE REVENUE Votes Percent
FOR THE MEASURE 15,610 69.13%
AGAINST THE MEASURE 6,971 30.87%
Total Votes: 22,581
CITY OF BOULDER QUESTION NO. 2C HEIGHT LIMIT Votes Percent
FOR THE MEASURE 18,370 80.44%
AGAINST THE MEASURE 4,467 19.56%
Total Votes: 22,837
CITY OF LOUISVILLE BALLOT ISSUE 2D Votes Percent
YES 3,215 53.25%
NO 2,822 46.75%
Total Votes: 6,037
TOWN OF JAMESTOWN BALLOT QUESTION 2E Publishing Ordinances by Title Only Votes Percent
YES 71 87.65%
NO 10 12.35%
Total Votes: 81
TOWN OF JAMESTOWN BALLOT QUESTION 2F Ban on Medical Marijuana Businesses Votes Percent
YES 56 69.14%
NO 25 30.86%
Total Votes: 81
BOULDER VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT RE-2 BALLOT ISSUE 3A Votes Percent
YES 30,640 61.89%
NO 18,870 38.11%
Total Votes: 49,510
PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT R-3 BALLOT ISSUE 3C Votes Percent
YES 119 56.40%
NO 92 43.60%
Total Votes: 211
LYONS FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT BALLOT ISSUE 4A Votes Percent
YES 583 69.40%
NO 257 30.60%
Total Votes: 840
FOUR MILE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT BALLOT ISSUE 5A Votes Percent
YES 211 83.40%
NO 42 16.60%
Total Votes: 253
SUGARLOAF FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT BALLOT ISSUE 5B (EXTENSION OF EXISTING TAX) Votes Percent
YES 400 94.34%
NO 24 5.66%
Total Votes: 424