Letter: Vote ‘No’ on Ballot Issue A and B

I am concerned about the approach the city is taking to pass an additional ¾-cent sales and use tax for the maintenance and reconstruction of existing streets and alleys, including sidewalks, drainage and utilities. I have been informed by city personnel that it is still uncertain as to which fund this will be included in, or if a new fund will be established to manage this new tax.

I agree that our street infrastructure is in bad shape, but I feel the plan is too much and too soon.  There are already three capital project type funds in effect for the city, all classified as special revenue funds that are supported by sales and use taxes. The three funds are: 1. Acquisition and Improvement Fund which generates 1 cent,  2. Capital Projects Fund which generates a ½ cent and 3. Street Tax Fund which generates another ½ cent. This is a total of 2 cents on the dollar that is designated for capital projects, which is what these ballot issues pertain to.

The city passed the continuation of the Acquisition and Improvement Fund’s 1-cent tax in 2016.  Not all of this was designated for specific projects that were bonded for. This undesignated amount could be used to help with street improvements. The Capital Project Fund is a perpetual fund that will never expire and those funds are available for street improvements as well. The Street Tax Fund, which is specific to street improvements, is set to expire at the end of 2026. It appears that much of the revenue from these funds get funneled off for whatever project or use that can remotely be labeled as a “Capital” use. I feel that there could easily be more scrutiny as to prioritizing the use of these funds and I personally would rank our street maintenance and construction at the top of this list. I would encourage City Council to look at pooling resources from the three funds listed above and accomplish what can be done through 2026, and then assess what needs are still unfulfilled when it is time to renew the current ½-cent sales and use tax In the Street Tax Fund.

Please vote “No” on Ballot Issues A and B.

Mike Harman, 

Former finance director for
the City of Glenwood Springs

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