Auto use tax asked of New Castle voters
With other town funds depleted and too little money in the general fund to pay for new projects or programs, a group of New Castle residents got together to seek a solution.
The Community Revenue Committee as a result is urging voters to vote yes on Ballot issue 2A in the Nov. 7 mail-in election.
The proposal is for a one-time, 3.5 percent use tax collected when New Castle residents purchase a new or used vehicle that requires registration.
New Castle is the only Garfield County community that does not currently collect this tax, which is projected to raise $330,000 annually for the town, if approved.
New Castle’s general fund balance currently stands at $541,509.
“We were stretched to meet the community needs and wanted to explore new revenue sources,” said Loran Randles, a member of the Community Revenue Committee. “We started meeting twice a month since the spring. We worried that the town would be forced to cut some of the things that make New Castle special.”
In 2009, oil and gas revenue funded 21 percent of the town’s total operating expenses of $2,997,638. In 2016, that number dropped to 5 percent. Total direct distributions from oil and gas are expected to remain below $125,000 for several years after supplying the town $642,254 in 2009, according to information from the committee.
“As citizens, neighbors, friends and families of New Castle, we support this tax because it will help us support our community’s core values and maintain and improve the things we care about for ourselves, our children and our visitors,” states promotional material for the tax.
New Castle does not allow retail marijuana sales, and Randles said that the use tax serves as an alternative to revenue from an industry that does not match the values of the community.
If approved by voters, the use tax will be earmarked for projects that 1) promote public safety; 2) establish a pathway to create a playing field and fieldhouse complex; 3) maintain and expand recreation; 4) support community volunteer groups; or 5) market and brand New Castle.
A citizen advisory board will be formed to prioritize the distribution of annual revenues among the five categories.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
“Turn off the lights! Turn off the lights!” the crowd yelled as Joseph Thompson stood behind his music mixing board and flashing strobe lights inside the school gym during Thursday night’s special halftime performance on…