ARAPAHOE COUNTY, COLO–Arapahoe County voters on Tuesday bulldozed at the ballot a local property tax increase to fund various public safety-related efforts, including construction of a new jail, as well as made a strong 54-46 showing against Proposition CC, the state government effort to permanently eliminate fiscal protections in Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). Prop CC failed state-wide at roughly the same margin.
Ballot Issue 1A was a heavy lift from the get-go, asking county taxpayers to pony up an additional $46 million in property taxes in 2020, and an unknown, and forever amount after that. In 2052 the increased mill levy asked for would have ratcheted down slightly, but would still be higher than currently. Voters decimated the tax hike by a margin of 67-33 percent.
The measure, which was unanimously referred to voters by the Republican-dominated county commission, also sought to exempt the new jail tax money from revenue restrictions imposed by TABOR. The strong rejection of 1A, along with the rejection by voters in the state’s third largest county of the permanent end to refunds of overcollected taxes in Proposition CC, shows a strong preference by voters in and around Arapahoe County to keep existing fiscal restraints on governments in place.
Along with a resounding no on Issue 1A, voters within the Arapahoe Park and Recreation District also rejected the smaller Issue 6A property tax hike there by 55-45, again roughly the same margin as Proposition CC.