Garfield County votes to let library keep tax revenue
Garfield County voters approved a measure that will allow the library district to keep all tax revenue it collects rather than refunding it in certain years as required by state laws.
Ballot Question 6A gained more than 70 percent support in early results for the midterm election Tuesday.
The Garfield County Public Library District had to refund $133,232 for the 2017 fiscal year, and the 2018 refund will likely be an even larger figure, according to the district.
Library funding comes mainly through sales taxes, but is subject to Colorado’s TABOR laws that limit the rate government districts are allowed to grow year over year.
Many local governments in Colorado have already made allowances to go around the growth restrictions and avoid refunds, and Garfield County has already approved the library’s measure to retain funds raised through property taxes that were slated for refund.
Measure 6A grants the library the authority to use the money slated for refunds on books and other materials. The 2017 refund amount could buy 7,000 books, the district said in October.
“During subsequent years, any money retained by this measure would be part of the general fund and allocated based on the district’s strategic plan and current needs of the community,” library officials said in a press release.
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“An additional round might force the candidates to base their platforms on hard facts and research, not simply what they believe the public wants to hear,” -Rick Voorhees, Glenwood Springs City Councilor