2021 Election, Education, Featured, Original Report, TABOR, Taxes

Weld County voters looking at numerous school bonding, tax asks on November ballot

WELD COUNTY — The fate of 11 tax-related ballot issues rest in the hands of voters from various local governments and school districts throughout Weld County this November, which if passed would result in about $2 billion worth of new and increased revenue streams, with about half of that coming entirely from the Brighton 27J School District.

In all, nine taxing districts or cities and towns have notified the Weld County Clerk and Recorders office that they will be participating in the 2021 Coordinated Election with fiscal initiatives that require a vote of the people under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).

TABOR is a constitutional amendment passed in 1992 that, among other things, requires a vote on all measures that increase taxes, add debt, or suspend government revenue limits.

Most of them are large bond and mill levy override questions by school districts including:

  • Wiggins (population 1,201) School District with a K-12 enrollment barely over 300 students — $30 million
    • New elementary (third – sixth grade)
    • Upgraded security
    • Upgraded preschool
    • Space for after school programs
    • Mental health counseling space
  • Weld/Adams/Broomfield (population 86,000) 27J School District with a K-12 enrollment of 17,000 students — Mill Levy override increase up to 8 mills to generate at least $16 million a year.
    • New teachers and staff
  • Also, 27J — Bond issue of $515 million with a repayment of no more than $997 million, with mill levy increases yearly at the school district’s discretion without returning to voters to repay the debt.
    • Construction of “needed” elementary schools
    • Two new middle schools
    • One new comprehensive high school
  • Windsor Re-4 (population 26,800) with a K-12 enrollment of 8,000 — Mill levy override increase to cover $3 million increase over a two year period, if an concurrent bond issue also passes.
    • Operational funding for new schools
    • Proportionate share to Windsor Charter Academy
  • Also, Windsor Re-4 $180 million bond with a repayment of no more than $319 million, with mill levy increases “levied without limit,” by the school board each year.
    • Two new elementary schools
    • New middle school to replace existing Windsor Middle School
    • Expansion of Severance Middle school
    • Expansion of Windsor Charter Academy

Other measures include:

  • Mill levy override for the Carbon Valley Parks and Recreation District (Frederick) — $2.5 million annually in 2022 and any amount in subsequent years with a mill levy override of 2.7 mills for 30 years and 1 mill for all years after 30.
  • Brighton marijuana sales tax increase of 4 percent.
  • Greeley street tax extension of .65 percent until Dec. 31, 2029.
  • Mead sales tax increase of 1 percent.
  • Fort Lupton marijuana excise tax of 1.5 percent.
  • Evans expansion of uses with existing food tax revenue to construct a new police station.

27J Superintendent Chris Fiedler, said the district is growing so fast, they are splitting at the seams and have no room for students at the pace its going.

“We are up almost 1,200 students from last year and are expecting another 7,000-8,000 students by 2030,” Fiedler said.

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