Moffat County voters refuse college property tax measure
CRAIG — The unofficial results have been tallied, and the Moffat County Affiliated Junior College Referred Measure 5A has failed.
The tax measure failed by 1,147 votes, with two-thirds, or 66 percent, of voters saying no to the tax increase.
Of 3,551 votes cast on the ballot issue, 1,202 voted in favor, while 2,349 voted against.
The measure asked registered voters in Moffat County to support a funding increase for the Craig Campus of Colorado Northwestern Community College by authorizing a property tax increase of $2 million in 2018 and, in subsequent years, an increase of no more than 5 mills.
The primary purpose of the mill levy increase would have been to develop on-campus housing by building a 100-bed facility with a common area and cafeteria estimated to cost between $17 and $19 million, depending on the final design options selected. The structure would allow for expansion at a later date.
The tax also would have been used to support tuition assistance for district residents enrolled at CNCC, supplemental program funding for the college, new facilities and facility renovations, technology enhancement or supplemental equipment for the college and operating costs of facilities owned by the district.
The measure would have sunset in 2048.
“I’m disappointed that the measure didn’t pass as we believe that would be a great next step for our college. And now we will have to go back and look at where we didn’t communicate well and decide if we will go back to the voters next year,” said Jennifer Riley, member of the Committee for Referred Measure 5A.
Demand for student housing is expected to increase as the college continues to develop new programs and recruit outside the region, but recent economic conditions leave the college few options to generate the funds needed to build.
“In my mind we have eliminated one option, so we just have to go out, regroup and see what else there is out there. The community resolved one questions. We still have a giant need for student housing if we are going to have the college move forward successfully with new programs and a four-year bachelors degree program,” said Terry Carwile college board member and housing committee member. “It will push our timeline back and the community is up against a time crunch with the retirement of unit one at the power plant pending. We don’t have an unlimited time to figure that out.”
What would it have cost?
Mill levies are the dollar amounts applied to the assessed value of a property to calculate the taxes due for that property. One mill is equal to $1 of property tax for every $1,000 in assessed value.
In Colorado, a tax rate (7.2 percent for residential and 29 percent for all other property) determines the portion of a property’s value that will be assessed; as a result the largest businesses in the county will contribute the most to the new tax.
For example, if a Craig resident owned residential property valued at $200,000, one additional mill would add $14.40 to that person’s property tax bill. The same increase would cost a Craig commercial property owner about $58 per year for the same $200,000 valuation.
To calculate property tax:
• Multiply the value of the land owned by the tax rate – 7.2 percent for residential or 29 percent for commercial, industrial, agricultural and vacant property – to determined the assessed value.
• Multiply the assessed value by the mill levy. For example, and owner of residential property valued at $100,000 subject to 62.161 mills would pay about $447 per year in property taxes.
In 2016, Moffat County levied between 56 and over 89 mills, depending on the taxing area.
Tax area maps and levy tables are available from the Moffat County Assessor’s office.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.