Moffat County voters approve Referred Measure 1A to help the county grow
November 9, 2016
Craig — Moffat County voters passed local Referred Measure 1A by a 145-vote margin yesterday, but folks at the Craig Daily Press's Coffee and a Newspaper, the morning after the election, were still asking what 1A means for property taxes.
Referred Measure 1A does not increase property taxes nor does it send money to the state of Colorado or the federal government.
Instead, 1A removes a 5.5 percent state cap on the annual growth of the amount of property taxes collected by local governments.
By adopting 1A, when the value of property increases, voters will now allow Moffat County to keep, rather than refund, any amount over the cap.
For example, if values grow by 5 percent, the county keeps 5 percent. Now, if values grow by 15.5 percent then it keeps 15.5 percent instead of refunding 10 percent to voters.
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"We want to see our community grow and to promote growth. By keeping all those tax dollars in the community we will promote growth and hopefully make our community a little better," said Whitney Myers, treasurer for Yampa Valley Young Professionals.
Yampa Valley Young Professionals backed the measure by spending $500 on signs that businesses and individuals displayed as well as promoted the measure through social media.
"I'm glad that it got passed. Even if it only got passed by one vote I would have been happy," Myers said. "We made yard signs and had help from the Craig relators to disburse signs to properties and businesses. We also were very vocal on social media. It's a big accomplishment to have helped get this passed."
One business to display a sign in support of 1A was Icon Salon in downtown Craig.
"It's a good thing that it passed," said owner Alesha Forbes. "I had a client that told me about it and convinced me to vote yes."
Property values are down by 11 percent across the county, according to the August valuation by Moffat County Assessor Chuck Cobb. When the next boom comes and property values grow again, referendum 1A will allow Moffat County to benefit from that growth.
"Currently, Moffat County couldn't keep more than 5.5 percent, now this allows us to keep more of that money," said Ray Beck, Craig’s mayor and as of Tuesday, Moffat County Commissioner-elect.
Under the old system it would have taken at least two years of growth of 5.5 percent for the county to regain enough in taxes to recover from this year's 11 percent loss in value.
"I like the fact that the money will be spent here locally," said cosmetologist Tawnya Carter.
Local 1A is not a tax increase, but when our economy recovers and our property tax values grow, the county budget will also grow.
"It's good for the county in the long term. It allows us, in the future, when we do have growth, to keep that value and those dollars here, and I think that's good for Moffat County," Cobb said.