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Carbondale marijuana tax passes easily

Voters in Garfield County towns and districts decided a range of races and issues, from a proposed marijuana tax in Carbondale to a contested school board seat in Garfield District Re-2. Here are the unofficial results of those races as of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

Carbondale marijuana tax

Nearly 73 percent of voters here, by a margin of 959 to 359, approved new municipal taxes on recreational marijuana.

On Election Day, local voters favored a sales tax of 5 percent on the herb to be sold over the counter to the public, and an excise tax of 5 percent on quantities of pot shipped from growers to retailers, according to unofficial results posted on the Garfield County website Tuesday night.

The taxes on pot would be added to existing local and state sales tax rates, along with new state sales and excise taxes also approved by the voters on Tuesday.

Mayor Stacey Bernot, reached by phone after she returned from a budget work session at Town Hall, acknowledged the landslide win for the local taxes by noting, “I was hopeful it would just pass. That’s a pretty resounding support [for the town’s pot-related revenues], and I appreciate that.”

She confirmed that the intent of the local taxes was to provide funding for the town’s enforcement of regulations governing the new recreational marijuana created by passage of Amendment 64 to the state constitution last November.

And, she said, the pot taxes could be lowered at a future date if it proves that the proceeds exceed the town’s need for funds.

“At least, that’s my thinking on it,” she remarked, adding that she felt the other current trustees feel likewise, because. “We may find that we don’t need to have it at that high a rate.”

Re-2 Board of Education

This race was too close to call in late returns. According to second returns for the District A seat, the only contested race in the district, Shirley Parks held a slim 1,307-1,268 lead over incumbent school board member Michelle “Mickey” Hosack, who was appointed last year.

A third candidate, Addy Marantino, trailed with 557 votes.

Parks was surprised she was leading in the tight race.

“Holy Cow, I didn’t expect that,” she said when reached by phone at her Rifle home. “I’m not sure what will happen now. I can’t believe it.”

Hosack did not immediately return a phone call for comment.

For the District E seat in New Castle, incumbent board member Anne Guettler was unopposed and earned re-election.

Silt sales tax

Silt trustees put a question on the town ballot asking voters to approve a 0.75 percent sales tax with revenues dedicated to funding economic development efforts. Voters rejected the measure by a 73-27 percent margin, with 359 voting no to 133 voting in favor.

Silt water district ‘de-Brucing’

Silt Water Conservancy District officials asked voters to remove TABOR restrictions on the district, arguing that the district cannot issue bonds or otherwise fund desperately needed improvements to an antiquated water delivery system.

Voters rejected the plea with 52 percent (1,257) voting no and 48 percent (1,142) voting yes.


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