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REGULAR CITY ELECTIONS - first Tuesday in November of each odd-numbered year. Regular Elections include candidates for City Council and any ballot issues or questions referred to the ballot by City Council or by citizens through a petition process. Next Regular Municipal Election: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017

Ballots will be mailed beginning October 16, 2017.

See Election Information

 

2017 Ballot Issues

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The Longmont City Council has approved three ballot issues for voter consideration in the 2017 election. This webpage provides factual information.

Si necesita esta información en Español por favor llame al 303-651-8601 para solicitar asistencia.

Election Day is November 7, 2017



Public Safety Sales Tax Increase – Ballot Issue 2H

What are the voters being asked to do?

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 95,012).

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

What does this cost residents?

The increase of 0.255% is equal to approximately 2.55 cents per every $10 spent on taxable goods.

Arguments for and against the public safety sales tax

Those IN FAVOR Believe

  1. This tax is necessary to bring police and fire services in alignment with the safety needs of our community.
  2. More police officers are needed to meet the increase in violent crime, crimes against the elderly, and traffic accidents.
  3. Emergency dispatchers are needed for significantly increased 9-1-1 demands.
  4. Public safety resources have not increased to meet these demands, and the services are critical to the community. 

Those OPPOSED Believe

  1. Growth should pay its own way for increased services of fire and police.
  2. The city should reprioritize city services to meet public safety needs.
  3. There is no need for additional sales tax.
  4. There is no need to increase the size of government.


Marijuana Tax – Ballot Issue 2I

What are voters being asked to do?

The Longmont City Council is considering allowing four (4) marijuana retail stores within the city limits. Assuming marijuana stores are allowed in Longmont, the City of Longmont is asking voters to approve an additional tax on retail sales of marijuana in those stores. The additional sales tax rate would be 3%, or 3 cents per dollar spent on marijuana products, with the rate of tax being allowed to be increased or decreased without further voter approval so long as the rate of taxation does not exceed 15%

Marijuana Tax History

During the discussion of whether or not to allow retail sales of marijuana in Longmont, the Longmont City Council approved ballot language to allow voters to approve an additional tax on marijuana sales.

Who will pay for this tax and how much will it cost?

Only people who buy retail marijuana in Longmont will pay this tax. On a $10 purchase of marijuana in Longmont, this additional tax would cost the buyer 30 cents.

What will the proceeds be used for?

Half of the proceeds of the 3% marijuana tax will be used for licensing, inspection and public safety services related to retail sales of marijuana. The other half will be used as affordable housing funding.

Arguments for and against the marijuana sales tax

Those IN FAVOR Believe

  • The City of Longmont will incur costs associated with marijuana sales, including costs for licensing and permitting marijuana stores as well as possible increases in public safety and drug outreach and prevention. An additional tax on marijuana could help offset these costs.
  • Beyond covering costs of City services related to marijuana sales, tax revenue from marijuana will be used to fund affordable housing.
  • Because many cities surrounding Longmont in Weld and Larimer counties do not allow marijuana sales, passing an additional tax in Longmont will help maximize the positive impact of marijuana sales in our community by collecting revenue from residents in other communities.
  • Longmont residents are paying additional taxes in Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville and other nearby communities that allow marijuana sales. By approving an additional tax on marijuana in Longmont, the revenue currently going to other communities will stay in Longmont.

Those OPPOSED Believe

  • An additional tax on marijuana in Longmont will make Longmont less competitive compared to other cities and Boulder County in the sale of marijuana. Specifically, there are cities in the Front Range with lower tax rates than the proposed Longmont rate, which may drive Longmont marijuana consumers to other cities.
  • The City has not specified a fund or specific use that marijuana tax will pay for outside of affordable housing. As such, these taxes may go to the City's General Fund where they will have little if any positive effect on City priorities.
  • Additional taxes unnecessarily target marijuana users to pay for City services. Taxes paid on marijuana should be no different than taxes on clothes, food and other consumer products sold in Longmont.


Water Storage Bond - Ballot Question 2J

What are voters being asked to do?

The City of Longmont is asking voters to approve the issuance of bonds to help fund construction of a water supply reservoir for use by Longmont.

Longmont and several other cities currently have water rights in what is known as the Windy Gap Project. Windy Gap water is diverted from the Colorado River and held in Lake Granby before it is delivered to Longmont and other towns through the Colorado-Big Thompson system.

During wet periods when Lake Granby is already full, there is no space to store Windy Gap water. The water rights held by Longmont and other communities are unable to be captured during these times. A new reservoir will fill this storage space need. In addition to helping Longmont store Windy Gap water during wet years, the reservoir will provide water in dry years.

Construction of this reservoir, known as the Windy Gap Firming Project, will be managed by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District on behalf of 12 project participants – nine Northern Colorado communities (including Longmont), two water districts, and Platte River Power Authority (Longmont’s wholesale power supplier). The reservoir will be constructed west of Carter Lake and hold 90,000 acre feet of water (about the same size as Carter Lake).

City Council reviewed and approved a comprehensive Raw Water Master Plan (2004) and a future Water Demand Evaluation (2012) that outline the City’s water supply planning efforts. These studies indicate a future projected water demand of over 32,000 acre feet. If all assumptions in these studies hold, Longmont’s participation in the Windy Gap Firming Project reservoir will meet the current and future water supply demands of the City.

What does this cost residents?

The total cost for Longmont to secure (own) one-ninth (1/9) of the water to be stored in the reservoir (a volume similar to Union Reservoir) is estimated to be $49.5 million.* The City has invested $5.1 million to date, which leaves an estimated remaining contribution of $44.4 million.* If voters approve the bond, approximately 15% of this remaining cost would be funded by the Raw Water Storage and Water Acquisition funds, and the remainder would be funded by bonds (not to exceed $36.3 million). Repayment of the bonds would require City Council to increase water rates by 13% in 2018 and 10% in 2019, instead of the 9% increases already adopted.

*Note: Estimated cost and contribution updated respectively from $47 M and $41.8 M as of 9/26/2017 based on latest project cost estimates issued by Northern Water. As in all construction projects, actual cost of construction will not be accurately determined until the project is bid and final costs will not be determined until construction is complete.

Current Adopted Rate Increases


2017

2018

2019

% Increase

9%

9%

9%

Average Monthly Bill

$33.09

$36.07

$39.31

Rate Increases with Passage of Bond


2017

2018

2019

% Increase

9%

13%

10%

Average Monthly Bill

$33.09

$37.39

$41.13


Perspective: 2017 Average Monthly Water Bills Across Cities

City

Avg. Monthly Bill

Longmont

$33.09

Arvada

$36.58

Broomfield

$37.53

Loveland

$38.36

Boulder

$41.75

Fort Collins

$41.87

Westminster

$42.57

Northglenn

$46.12

Greeley

$48.58

Thornton

$52.62

Erie

$69.35

Arguments for and against the water storage bond issue

Those IN FAVOR Believe

  • This project, developed through regional partnerships and decades of planning, represents a significant opportunity for Longmont to secure its current and future water supply.
  • Water supply in Colorado is highly vulnerable, and Longmont’s participation in the construction of a reservoir to maximize our existing water rights provides insurance to reliably meet the water needs of our community.
  • Bond financing results in user rates that are initially lower than if cash were used to fund the improvements and distributes costs more equitably across both current and future residents.
  • Through fees paid on building permits, new water connections will continue to contribute to funds dedicated to Longmont’s water supply.

Those OPPOSED Believe

  • Longmont’s long-term water supply needs could be met though alternative methods or projects.
  • Longmont does not need this much water now or in the future.
  • Although cash funding the improvements would result in higher rates for several years, the long-term rate impact would be lower because there would be no bond interest to be paid.
  • The City should not go into debt to fund projects of this type; other sources of funding should be found.

 

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