Carbondale sales tax extension bill makes it out of committee |

Carbondale sales tax extension bill makes it out of committee

Carbondale’s recreation sales tax extension bill made it out of the state House Finance Committee on a 11-0 vote last Thursday.

“We feel like it has a very good chance of passing,” said Carbondale recreation director Jeff Jackel, after talking with state Rep. Gregg Rippy, R-Glenwood Springs, the bill’s sponsor.

House Bill 1218 would allow Carbondale residents to vote on whether to extend the town’s 0.5 percent recreation sales tax beyond its 2010 expiration date.

The sales tax, which residents approved in the mid-1990s, is for recreation facilities. If voters approve the sales tax extension in November, Carbondale would use the funds to build a $6.5 million recreation center on the former North Face property on Highway 133.

Jackel, Rippy and lobbyist Chip Taylor made presentations before the Finance Committee last Thursday. Jackel said the bill must be amended to require Carbondale residents to vote on the extension, but didn’t see a problem with adding that wording.

The bill next goes to the House floor and if it passes there, to the state Senate, where Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, will be the sponsor. If the bill passes the Senate, it goes to the governor’s desk to sign.

Carbondale was thrown for a loop last August when the town learned it could face legal challenges if it put the sales tax extension to a vote. That’s because the town’s sales tax is over the state’s 6.9 percent sales tax cap.

Carbondale’s total sales tax is 7.4 percent, which includes 3.5 percent for the town, 1 percent for Garfield County and 2.9 percent for the state.

Regardless of legislative approval, Carbondale has said it plans to go forward this summer and use tax revenues to build a skateboard park, outdoor in-line roller rink, and outdoor basketball court at the recreation center site.

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