COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs voters have passed Ballot Issue 2a.
2a asked voters if the city can keep nearly two million dollars collected in 2019 that was over the limit set by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). It also aims to grow the TABOR cap from the city's 2019 value moving forward, rather than having to ratchet down to the 2020 revenue
Among other things, TABOR limits the amount of revenue that can be retained and spent from year to year, and that increases at a specific rate.
However, the revenue collected by the city decreased in 2020 when compared to 2019. "The 2020 revenue is anticipated to be over $20 million less than the 2019 revenue, so that's about a 7% decline in revenue. So, that's significant for the city," said Charae McDaniel, the chief financial officer for the City of Colorado Springs.
2A also asked voters to collect, retain, and spend the full amount of revenue received from all sources in 2020.
When there is money that goes over the TABOR cap, voters must be asked if they would like the city to retain it or to refund it. "In 2019, the revenue that the city collected exceeded the TABOR cap by $1.9 million," said McDaniel.
If the $1.9 million was divided among citizens and refunded, Mayor John Suthers said it would total to around $7 a household. "If you had a family of four, you'd each get a buck and a half back," said Mayor Suthers.
Now that voters have decide to let the city keep the $1.9 million, the money is planned to go to the police and fire departments.
Once it appeared the measure would pass, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers released the following statement:
"I’d like to thank the voters for overwhelmingly passing Ballot Measure 2A tonight, which will considerably speed up our city’s economic recovery and return us to the trajectory of positive growth that we were experiencing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The voters’ support means that we can move more quickly to a full economic recovery without compromising vital city services. This will allow us to maintain the incredible quality of life that we have come to appreciate here in Colorado Springs."