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City Council Refers Two TABOR Questions to Voters
The Littleton City Council has referred two questions to voters for the November 7, 2017 ballot concerning the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, more commonly known as TABOR. Under TABOR, a city must obtain voter approval to spend revenues which exceed a specified limit based on 1992 revenues plus adjustments. For the 2016 fiscal year, Littleton revenues exceeded its TABOR limit by $1,937,904. The excess must be refunded in the next fiscal year unless voters approve the city retaining the revenue.
The first question, if approved by voters, allows the city to retain the excess revenue to be used for pavement improvements on residential streets ($1,392,904), and intersection safety upgrades at Bowles Avenue and Federal Boulevard ($545,000). If voters do not approve, the excess revenue will be refunded in a manner to be determined. No refund methodology is specified by TABOR.
The second question concerns adjusting the base used for calculating the TABOR limit. If voters approve the question, the revenue base will be updated to the 2016 level. If voters don’t approve the question, there will likely be excess revenues in future years, which cannot be spent to meet city needs.
Since 1994, Littleton voters have approved TABOR questions five times. Projects funded by voter approval included: safety improvements to Santa Fe Drive, the pedestrian underpass at the High Line Canal and County Line Road, purchase of open space, mini parks and recreation projects; Ketring Lake improvements, street improvements, upgrades to Fire Station #11, installation of a fire suppression system at Bemis Library, school zone signage conversion to fiber optics, improvements to the fire training burn building, partial funding of fleet building improvements and museum expansion.
TABOR is a 1992 amendment to the Colorado Constitution that establishes a revenue limit for local government spending. It is a formula combining the Consumer Price Index and the percentage change in local growth.
Littleton registered electors are invited to submit pro/con statements about the two referred questions to City Clerk Wendy Heffner by September 22. She will summarize the statements for the Blue Book which provides voters with the text, title and a fair and impartial analysis of each initiated or referred question on the ballot. It is mailed to every registered voter household.
Further information, including the ballot language, will be available at www.littletongov.org/TABOR.