When UDFCD was created in 1969, the State Legislature passed a law that states the Mill Levy will be assessed to all residents within the UDFCD boundary. As set by Colorado Legislature,
UDFCD’s taxing mill levy is 1.0 mil. The bill was written with the potential to increase the taxing authority to 2.5 mills (32-11-217 CRS).
The Challenges of TABOR Constraints (Meeting Community Needs)
Although the bill allowed for the potential to increase our taxing authority to 2.5 mills (32-11-217 CRS), in 1992 Colorado Tax Payer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) constitutional amendment took effect. This constitutional amendment requires voter approval for any tax increase. TABOR created a ratchet-down effect that has reduced UDFCD’s current mill levy over time from 1.0 mill to 0.56 mills, a 44% reduction resulting in a current annual funding level that is $23 million less than the statute authorizes. Over the past 26 years, TABOR restrictions have resulted in UDFCD deferring over $280 million in infrastructure construction and maintenance that could have been used to protect lives and property, and preserve open spaces for floodwaters.
A Possible Solution to the Funding Gap
UDFCD’s Board of Directors is looking at ways to fill the funding gap. While no decision has been made at this time, one way is by asking the voters (possibly as early as November 2018), to restore the mill levy which will allow UDFCD to retain the funding from the original 1 mill as was the legislative intent. Nearly 50% of all the special districts in the state have
successfully restored their mill levy through voters’ approval.
UDFCD has never before gone to the voters to increase its tax revenue. Doing so now, would do nothing more than allow UDFCD to collect and retain revenue under its statutory taxing authority of 1.0 mill.
What Would This Cost Tax Payers?
Restoring the statutory mill levy would cost residential property owners an additional 27 cents per month (or $3.19 per year) for each $100,000 of actual home value. For a $400,000 home,
the annual increase would be less than $13 per year—that’s about the cost of a single movie ticket.
How Will Your Community Benefit?
The revenue created by restoring our taxing authority will be spent on:
Debris removal from streams, creeks, and rivers
Open Space preservation and trail development in floodplains
Planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining flood mitigation projects designed to save lives and protect property
Identifying flood risks and educating the public of those risks
Maintaining a flood warning/flood prediction program to alert the public of impending danger
Why a Public Education Campaign?
Because our philosophy has always been to support local governments, keep a lean staff, and maximize the use of tax dollars, resources have been focused on implementing high quality and well-maintained infrastructure through partnerships. Hence, the public doesn’t recognize UDFCD’s role in the services provided to communities to keep them safe and enhance their quality of life.
UDFCD is embarking on a public information and education campaign to communicate with our various constituents on the services we provide, and their importance for families, individual businesses, and the region.
Once people learn who we are and how our services benefit them, polling shows they express overwhelming support for UDFCD to restore our taxing authority and continue our vital work.
How You Can Help Support Our Cause
Our goal is to use social media to translate UDFCD’s mission / vision into social experiences that resonate with the Colorado community. This campaign will aim to raise awareness of:
Who we are and what we do
How we support our local governments partners and communities to:
Keep our communities safe
Provide open space and trails through flood protection projects
Promote responsible development
Help us get the message out about the important work and partnership UDFCD provides to the community.
Help Us Spread the Word – LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE!
Now and in the coming months, we’ll be posting and tweeting about a variety of topics including:
Past and Future Project Highlights
Trails and Open Space (Ex: Best Trails and Parks in Your Area)
Please help us spread the word! LIKE, Comment on, and/or SHARE our posts!
LIKE us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us Instagram
For additional information on how you can get involved, contact David Bennetts at email@example.com.
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