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Public Safety Tax on November Ballot
Would cost residents 2.55 cents per $10 on taxable goods.
WHAT DOES THIS COST RESIDENTS?
The increase of 0.255% is equal to approximately 2.55 cents per every $10 spent on taxable goods.
PUBLIC SAFETY TAX - BALLOT ISSUE 2H
The City of Longmont is asking voters to approve a 0.255% increase to the existing public safety tax, increasing the current 0.325% public safety sales tax to 0.58%. This dedicated public safety sales tax will be used to hire more police officers, dispatchers, firefighters, and support staff and to purchase the equipment and facilities to provide public safety services.
The community has grown by over 10,000 people in the past 10 years, while resources have not increased to support this growth (2017 population estimated at 95,858).
As a result of the growth in our community and the number of people who visit and work here, there are increases in:
• Calls for service (fire, police, dispatch), including for calls for service that require two officers
• Violent crime, including sex assaults and domestic violence (20% increase)
• Traffic volume, accidents and fatalities
• Demand for fire and emergency medical services
• Computer fraud and other technology-related crimes
• Crimes against and exploitation of the elderly
• Fire ground danger due to building construction and fire load
ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE PUBLIC SAFETY SALES TAX
Those In Favor Believe
~ This tax is necessary to bring police and fire services in alignment with the safety needs of our community.
~ More police officers are needed to meet the increase in violent crime, crimes against the elderly, and traffic accidents.
~ Emergency dispatchers are needed for significantly increased 9-1-1 demands.
~ Public safety resources have not increased to meet these demands, and the services are critical to the community.
Those Opposed Believe
~ Growth should pay its own way for increased services of fire and police.
~ The City should re-prioritize City services to meet public safety needs.
~ There is no need for additional sales tax.
~ There is no need to increase the size of government.
• Police respond to approximately 90,000 calls for service a year. Of those calls 14,886 in 2016 were emergency calls for service. These are two officer calls requiring immediate response – crimes of violence, domestic assaults, injury accidents, fights, etc. In 2017 officers are on track to exceed 14,500 emergency calls for service. This is up 15% from three years ago. In 2013, 2014, 2015 police averaged 12,600 per year.
• Domestic Violence investigations are consistently rising from a low in 2011 of 539 investigations, to a high of 714 investigations in 2016
• Sexual Assault investigations (includes inter-familial, non-stranger sexual assault, and rape) are more complex and steadily rising from low of 96 investigations in 2012 to an average of 215 investigations in 2014, 2015, and 2016
• Larceny/Theft increasing from a low of 1561 investigations in 2011 to a peak of 1859 investigations in 2016
• Crashes have risen from a low of 1903 total crashes in 2009 to a high of over 2500 crashes in 2015 and 2016
• Injury accidents and hit and run accidents are rising at the same rate
• Crimes against the elderly (Wrongs to At-Risk Adults) have increased steady since new mandatory reporting laws were changed in July 2014. (55 investigations in 2015 and 89 investigations in 2016)
• Almost all criminal investigations now involve some sort of electronic device, i.e. phone, tablet or computer. As a result, our Forensic Computer Lab has seen in an increase in the numbers of devices they must examine during an investigation or in preparation for court.