FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS VOTE FORT COLLINS NOW!
City Ballot Issue Question 1
– April 2019 –
Is this a new tax?
No. Your sales taxes will not be increased. Your tax bill will not change. It is a continuation of this enhanced tax rate (Keep Fort Collins Great) that voters approved in 2010.
If my tax rate is not changing, why is this on the ballot?
Fort Collins has over a 30-year history of asking voters “Are you getting the right service, at the right level, at the right price?”
This current Keep Fort Collins Great (KFCG) tax is due to end in 2020. Yet, this tax supports essential General Fund services like Fire, Street Maintenance and Repair, Parks, Recreation, Police, and other community needs. It has been in place since 2011. It’s time to address this and ensure that such essential services will be in place beyond the next 10 years.
What is Ballot Issue Question 1?
It refers to a ballot item on the City’s April 2 election. It asks voters to continue the current .85-cent sales tax rate.
However, while the .85-cent sales tax rate remains unchanged, the structure is different. It separates the tax so that one part is added to the City’s on-going base tax rate and designates the other part as a renewable tax. Here’s a bit more detail:
- It folds .60-cents of the tax into the City’s base tax rate (so it becomes a lasting part of the City’s base tax rate). Because this portion is changing from a “temporary” tax to one that is included in the City’s ongoing tax base, voters are asked to increase the City’s base tax rate. The base rate hasn’t been increased in 36 years.
- It continues .25-cents of the tax rate for another 10-year period.
What is this tax used for?
The revenue from this tax will continue to support core services such as Fire and Police Protection, Street repair and maintenance, Parks and Recreation as well as other community priorities such as affordable housing efforts and economic and environmental programming.
What exactly is the current “Keep Fort Collins Great” tax?
In 2010, voters approved a 10-year .85-cents dedicated sales tax. After a number of moves to improve efficiency coupled with significant reductions (and with more on the horizon during the “Great Recession”), voters approved the sales tax to support the following City operations:
- 33% Street maintenance and repair
- 17% Other transportation needs
- 17% Police services
- 11% Fire services (Poudre Fire Authority)
- 11% Parks and Recreation
- 11% Other community priorities
Each year a summary report of KFCG funds and projects along with an organizational efficiency report is provide to City Council and the public.(available at www.fcgov.com/kfcg)
Why should I vote YES on Issue Question 1?
The revenues from these taxes support our high quality of life, keep our neighborhoods safe, provide good streets and alternative modes of transportation, offer parks with wide range of activities for all, and deliver outstanding fire and emergency service protection.
A great majority of residents rate City services and facilities as exceptional. The level and types of services are paid for by local taxes—some of which are paid by visitors.
Fort Collins is unique and loved by citizens young and old for its many amenities—most of which are provided by the City.
Will this tax apply to groceries and prescriptions?
No. Plain and simple!
What happens if the ballot question is not approved?
The KFCG tax currently generates approximately $30 million a year. These dollars have supported:
- 12 firefighters
- Safe Routes to School program
- 14 Bridge replacements
- Service rides for the disabled
- Over 30 police services positions—including the daytime downtown police team and the Campus West Connection sub-station
- 72 new affordable housing units
- 171 rehabilitated senior housing units
- Parks equipment and facility replacements—playgrounds, trails, sidewalks, lights, shelters
If voters reject this ballot question, employees and services will be eliminated, reduced and delayed. You can’t cut $30 million a year out of the budget without cutting people and services.
Why is this tax measure before the voters now?
Voters approved the KFCG tax in 2010 and it will end in December 2020.
To continue the essential services we rely on to keep our community safe and enjoyable, voters are asked to continue the same tax rate—folding a major portion into the City’s base tax rate which has not increased in 36 years and setting a smaller portion for another 10 years.
Why can’t the City work with the money it already has?
The City’s base sales and use tax rate is 2.25% and has not changed since 1982. That’s 36 years. As our population grows and the demand for services increases, the .85% tax is necessary to maintain the types and levels of service this community has come to expect.
Voters have approved some specific dedicated taxes that end after a certain number of years—which means they are not part of the base tax rate. These include: Open Space (0.25%), Street Maintenance (0.25%), and Community Improvements (0.25%) and the current Keep Fort Collins Great (0.85%).
Is it one tax or two taxes?
Ballot Issue Question 1 continues the existing KFCG .85% tax that was approved by voters 10 years ago. However, it folds a portion (0.60%) into the City’s base tax rate and extends another smaller portion (0.25%) for another 10 years.
Why is it split?
The ballot issue question is split into two parts to provide on-going funding for essential City services. It increases the on-going base tax rate for the first time in 36 years while also giving voters an opportunity to revisit a portion of the tax rate in another 10 years.