- Read EdNews’ coverage of the Nov. 1 election – Bloodbath for district tax plans
More than half a billion dollars in property tax revenue is being sought by 35 Colorado school districts in the Nov. 1 election, primarily to build or renovate buildings and to bolster operating budgets that have been squeezed by losses in state aid.
About a dozen districts, many of them small, are seeking a total of more than $50 million in bond funds to match potential grants from the state’s Building Excellent Schools Today program. Five of those districts, including Englewood and Sheridan in the metro area, are on the BEST waiting list. Even if those voters approve the bonds, the districts won’t receive state money unless some districts higher up the priority list lose their elections.
Only four districts, Falcon, Douglas County, Englewood and Pueblo County, are seeking both bonds and operating increases.
The more than $560 million proposed by local districts this year is less than the total that was on ballots in 2010, when 31 districts sought $738 million in bond issues and operating revenue increases.
Despite concerns that economic woes would dampen voter interest in raising taxes, districts did pretty well last fall. Voters approved $595.8 million in bonds and operating increases and rejected only $142.5 million worth.
Information & Links
Here are snapshots of and links to information about tax proposals in larger districts, listed in order of enrollment size.
Douglas County – $200 million bond issue for facilities, technology and other spending and $20 million of increased spending authority for operations, including a pay-for-performance program. Info
Mesa 51 – $12.5 million of increased taxing authority for eight years to restore teaching positions, add technology and stabilize revenues. Info
Thompson – $12.8 million, 12-year override to fund class size, new programs and technology. Info
Brighton – $4.8 million override to maintain class sizes, buy instructional materials and reduce fees. (A 2010 override was defeated.) Info
Falcon –$85 million bond issue for construction and a $5 million override. (Voters rejected a bond issue last year.) Info
Pueblo County –$35 million bond issue for facilities and a $3.4 million override to reduce class sizes, restore teaching jobs and expand vocational programs. Info
Eagle County – $6 million override to maintain class sizes, reduce cutbacks in extracurricular activities and replace buses and computers. Info
Smaller districts seeking large bond issues include Englewood ($50 million) and Archuleta County/Pagosa Springs ($49 million).
Recent EdNews coverage
$1 billion sought for education
Colorado schools districts are seeking more than $560 million in extra tax support this election, bringing the total education ask to more than $1 billion when the $514 million proposed by Proposition 103 is figured in. Story
Recent news from other sources
- Garfield RE-2 leaders explain need for tax hike
- Thompson tax proposal debated
- Local Republicans campaigning against Eagle schools measure
- Pueblo 70 leaders detail why tax hikes needed
- Schools could close if Eagle tax measure fails
- Carbondale council endorses Roaring Fork tax plan
- Committees form to back mountain districts’ tax proposals
- Citizen group urges passage of Mesa 51 tax measure
- Thompson tax backers discuss strategy
- Woodland Park board members explain tax proposal
- Pueblo 70 says bond issue won’t actually raise tax bills
- Falcon board president’s wife hired to do PR for tax measures