News, November 5th

ELECTION DAY 2013/GARFIELD COUNTY

Glenwood Springs—Fracking, marijuana taxes, education taxes, mill
levy increases….those are some of the issues voters in Colorado are deciding today in cities and towns across the state. In Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, voters are considering mill levy increases to meet the rising cost of emergency
services like fire protection.  Glenwood Springs City Councilman Matt Steckler says each time someone calls 9-1-1, it costs the city money. In Silt, voters are considering a 3/4 cent sales tax hike to pay for parks and recreation improvements.
Voters are also deciding a race for the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees in District3. Incumbent Mary Ellen Denomy is being challenged
by Jay Rickstrew.  Over 28 thousand ballots were sent out to Garfield County registered voters and so far just over 9 thousand have been returned. Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico says the low turnout may be voter indecision rather than
apathy. Voter service centers will be open until 7 o’clock tonight at Carbondale Town Hall, the Glenwood Springs Community Center and the libraries in Silt, New Castle and Parachute.

SCHOOL FUNDING, WEED TAX ON BALLOT

DENVER (AP) – Colorado voters are deciding on a major change to how public schools are funded. A ballot measure today would hike income taxes by about $1 billion a year in exchange for a raft of education upgrades.  Amendment 66 would raise the state income tax from 4.63 percent to 5 percent for taxable income up to $75,000 a year. Income above $75,000 would be taxed at 5.9 percent.  Marijuana’s journey in legalization takes another step in Colorado when voters decide whether to tax it more for the sake of schools and enforcement. Proposition AA asks voters today whether to approve a 15 percent pot excise tax to pay for school construction, plus an extra sales tax of 10 percent to fund marijuana enforcement. The taxes are estimated to bring in $70 million a year.

GARCO COMMISSIONERS WANT A SAY IN REPORTING OIL AND GAS SPILLS

GLENWOOD SPRINGS (AP) – Garfield County wants to have a say in how new rules on oil spills are reported.  A new state law redefines the process for reporting spills and to who gets the reports. County officials already have reporting rules in place and they want to make sure those rules are followed.

MESA COUNTY WELFARE FRAUD

GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – A district court judge has ordered a former Mesa County Department of Human Services caseworker and her husband to repay $53,000 after they pleaded guilty to fraud charges.  Aurora residents Venica Padilla and her husband, Tony Padilla Jr., had disputed the District Attorney Office’s request for full restitution in the case.
The Padillas pleaded guilty in January to felony theft.

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