By Jeff Gurney

(CBS4) – On Nov. 2, voters across Colorado will consider local questions and candidates. 125 municipal ballot questions are being considered in 88 cities and towns according to the Colorado Municipal League.

CBS4 has reported on the struggle for some people to find affordable housing in the high country. And there are several cities with housing-related questions. For instance, Avon has a question about whether excise tax on the leasing of short-term rental unites should fund community housing. Basalt has a question about an $18 million in debt authority to fund affordable housing, infrastructure improvements and green projects, to be paid for with the extension of previously approved property taxes. Proponents in Crested Butte want $8.985 million in debt authority, to be paid for with an increase of the excise tax on vacation rentals. Crested Butte has a separate question for $24 million in debt authority, to be paid for with two taxes: a sales and use tax and a Community Housing tax on undeveloped residential land and on residential units that are not a primary residence and are not being rented for residential purposes for at least six consecutive months per year. On the ballot in Leadville is an accommodations tax on the leasing of short-term rental units and short-term commercial public accommodations for the purpose of funding affordable and community housing programs. Vail has a proposed sales tax to fund housing programs. Ouray has an excise tax on the ballot that would target leasing of short-term rentals to fund housing programs.

In Telluride there are three housing questions. A lodging tax would help manage the effects of tourism on the community and would help with transportation improvements. A second question, if passed, would increase business license fees for short-term rental units and the imposition of a cap on the number of licenses to the number that have been issued as of November 2, 2021. There’s also a move to cap the number of short-term rental business licenses available for non-primary residences to 400. Lodging taxes will be on the ballot in Castle Rock, Golden and Rico.

Two cities have questions aimed at solving housing issues in a different way. In Boulder, Question 300 would allow the number of people access housing in one building to the number of legal bedrooms plus one. Denver’s ballot will include a referendum on an ordinance concerning the number of unrelated adults who can live in a household, which would strike down an increase in permitted housing residency by unrelated adults in Denver should the referendum pass.

Other questions include taxes to fund police, community centers and trails and open space as well as new construction projects. Lyons voters are being asked to allow the construction of a solar storage facility on town property. Evans voters are being asked to use revenues from a sales tax to fund a police station. Haxtun voters are being asked to use revenues from a tax to improve streets. And in Wellington, voters are being asked to use revenue from a street tax for parks and open space.

Colorado’s Municipal League says there’s a number of tax questions on local ballots:

Tax and bond issues
Sales tax questions will be on the ballot in:
Castle Rock – for open space and trails
Calhan voters will decide whether to join the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority and to approve an associated sales and use tax increase for the authority
Colorado Springs – for trails, open space and parks
Deer Trail – for the provision of town services
Gunnison – for streets and capital projects
Idaho Springs – for water and wastewater capital improvement projects
Lafayette – for public safety services
Las Animas – for recreational improvements
Littleton – for capital improvement projects
Lone Tree – for city services
Mead – for street improvements
Monument – for police services
Superior – for transportation improvements
Yuma – for general expenses

Sales tax extensions are being requested by:
Boulder – for capital improvement projects
Greeley – for street and pedestrian safety improvements

Three property tax questions are on the ballot:
Glenwood Springs – for the municipal airport
Rico – for the public works fund
Williamsburg – for road and flood drainage improvements

Colorado voters legalized marijuana in 2012. Now some Colorado cities are considering local marijuana questions. A Denver initiative would increase marijuana sales tax to fund pandemic research. In Golden, Westminster and Brighton, voters could approve both marijuana businesses and sales taxes. Lamar, Mead and Wellington voters will consider medical and retail marijuana businesses. Marijuana taxes are also being considered in De Beque, Fort Lupton, Idaho Springs, Lakewood, Las Animas and Yuma.
Below are some resources for voters:

To check your voter registration:
coloradosos.gov/voter/pages/

See a sample ballot from Denver.

To read the “Blue Book”, the ballot information booklet, provides voters with an impartial analysis of each question on the ballot:
leg.colorado.gov/content/initiatives/initiatives-blue-book-overview/

Jeff Gurney