Moffat County commissioners briefed on Amendment 73 by superintendent
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an error regarding Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant for $10,000, which will fund a study for improvements at Maybell Park.
CRAIG — Moffat County School District Superintendent Dave Ulrich gave the Moffat County Board of County Commissioners a presentation about Amendment 73 during the body’s regular meeting, held Tuesday, Sept. 18.
Ulrich said Amendment 73, if approved by voters, will help fund Colorado schools by increasing income taxes for C corporations and decreasing property taxes for most business property owners, farmers, and ranchers.
“I want you to have confidence and facts surrounding Amendment 73,” Ulrich said. “Others in the county will look to you as folks who are informed on the issues that will appear on the ballot.”
If approved, Amendment 73 would generate $2.6 million for the Moffat County School District annually, Ulrich said. Some school districts in Colorado are still struggling in the wake of the Great Recession, and though Ulrich acknowledged this year’s district budget has recovered to levels similar to pre-recession years, he added it was a long process that took years.
If the amendment passes, it will increase the school district’s budget by approximately 10 percent, Ulrich said, which would be a “game changer.” He added he plans to continue promoting the amendment across Moffat County.
Under the amendment, Ulrich said, only 8 percent of Moffat County’s population would see an increase in income taxes, and those are people who earn $150,000 or more per year. Additionally, he said, Colorado has the fourth-lowest concentration of C corporations in the nation, and the amendment would raise taxes on such corporations by 1.37 percent. Statewide, the tax increase would raise an estimated $1.6 billion annually, specifically for education.
As an example, Ulrich said that for the Moffat County School District to generate funds equal to those the amendment would supply, it would have to ask voters for a 6.9 percent mill increase, something he said he never wants to do.
The school district would use the money based on community needs, Ulrich said. Examples of such needs include programs supporting mental health and safety, as well as more opportunities for students.
Commissioner Ray Beck said he encourages county residents to do their own research into the ballot issues to make an informed decision.
In other business, county commissioners:
• Accepted a bid of $20,250 from from Intrawest, a Fountain-based company, for landfill tire disposal. Other bids came from Colorado Tire Recycler, a Denver-based company, for $19,375; and Liberty Tire Recycling, a Utah-based company, for $29,700.
• Approved a grant from Colorado Department of Local Affairs for $10,000 for a study for improvements at Maybell Park.
• Approved an agreement with Ellen Dana to clean the restrooms at Irish Canyon Rest Stop for $300 per month for a term of six months. Natural Resources Department head Jeff Comstock said that, after meeting with the Bureau of Land Management — which manages the rest stop — both agreed the county should help, and it was a reasonable request. The county wants the restrooms to operate even during winter months, because they are important to visitors in the area. Commissioner Don Cook added Dana is not a county employee, but rather an independent contractor.
• Signed a proclamation declaring Sept. 17 through 23 as Constitution Week. Daughters of the American Revolution Augusta Wallihan Chapter member Ann Dodd said it is fitting for Americans to remember the important document, which helped define the nation.
• Approved a letter of support to apply for a grant from the NRA Foundation to help make improvements on the trap shooting field a few miles west of Craig.
Moffat County’s Dinosaur National Monument has been given a designation that could attract planet-watchers and star-finders from around the world.