While the name Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District may not be familiar, most folks have heard of Water World, the water park the special taxing district manages. There are approximately 130,000 residents within Hyland Hills, which encompasses parts of Arvada, Westminster, Northglenn, Thornton, Federal Heights and unincorporated Adams County. The Hyland Hills Board of Directors has put forward Issue 6A on this November’s ballot, which if approved, would eliminate Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) revenue restrictions on the district. Here are a few problems with their proposal.
The ballot language: The district references retaining revenues from 2018 going forward. TABOR refunds from 2018-2022 have already occurred. Will the district be sending a bill to all taxpayers in the district asking for this money back? Moreover, the ballot language has no mention of dollar impact to the district or taxpayers. This is another red flag.
The purpose: Looking at the district’s website, there is no mention of the district indicating why they want TABOR limits lifted. There is not a list of reasons or projects. Also, since their board meeting minutes are not available online, residents cannot see any discussion of why the board thinks this proposal is necessary.
No transparency: If the board has specific projects that require funding, then they should put together a proposal, share it with the community, ask for input and put it to vote of the people. Right now, all we have is a request for a blank check in perpetuity. This is not transparent, nor financially responsible.
Issue 6A warrants a NO vote from the residents of the Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District.
Dan Smith, a former elected school board member, is a Westminster resident.
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