News, November 6th


Glenwood Springs—-Coloradans say ‘no’ to more taxes for public schools but ‘yes’ to taxing pot smokers.  Amendment 66, which would have raised state income taxes by nearly a billion dollars a year for school funding, was overwhelmingly rejected by voters 66 to 34 percent.  The margin of defeat in Garfield and Pitkin counties was nearly identical. The loss means Colorado will retain the same flat income tax structure that’s been in place for nearly 30 years. 


Undated—If you want to smoke pot, it’s going to cost you.  With a 65 to 35 percent margin, Colorado voters said recreational marijuana should be taxed and taxed heavily. Proposition AA imposes a 15 percent excise tax plus a 10 percent sales tax.  That will be in addition to a 2.9 percent sales tax that weed stores will have to pay for regulation.  The taxes will put about 70 million dollars into the state coffers every year and are supposed to be earmarked for school construction.  The 65 to 35 percent margin of victory for the weed tax was similar in Garfield and Pitkin counties.


Glenwood Springs—Glenwood Springs homeowners are willing to pay a little more in property tax to help the fire department keep up with rising costs.  Ballot issues 2A and 5A were approved. 1,223 voters in Glenwood Springs voted for 2A while 1,057 were against it.  Ballot issue 5A, dealing with the Glenwood Springs Rural Fire Protection District was approved 651 to 476.   The two mill levy increase will raise about a half million dollars a year combined and will sunset in five years.   A similar funding question for the Carbondale Rural and Fire Protection District, Question 4B, was rejected by voters 58 to 42 percent. Carbondale voters did approve a marijuana sales tax by a sizable margin.  In Silt, voters aren’t in the mood to pay more in taxes.  Voters rejected a 3/4 cent sales tax proposal to pay for economic development projects.  Voters were also against a De-Brucing measure to improve Silt’s water delivery system.  The only contested race for candidates was the Colorado Mountain College District 3 battle between Jay Rickstrew of Rifle and incumbent Mary Ellen Denomy of Parachute.  While Rickstrew had a slight lead in Garfield County, Denomy handily won the other five counties in the district and will keep her seat on the board.


Aspen/Basalt—-Voters in Basalt approved plans to redevelop the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park and create more open space.  Questions 2B and 2C won by large margins with 65 percent and 78 percent voting ‘yes’ respectively.  The approval gives the town the green light to issue five million dollars in bonds to pay for flood mitigation work, turn part of the mobile home park into a recreation area and improve roads.  In Pitkin County, voters were strongly against a mill levy increase to fund the Crown Mountain Recreation District and recreation center with 72 percent casting a ‘no’ vote and 28 percent in favor. Question 4D, dealing with the Crown Mountain Recreation Center bond, lost by the same margin.