Voters to be asked about local, state taxes |

Voters to be asked about local, state taxes

Brandon Johnson

Moffat County voters will decide the fate of two local tax questions, two state tax questions and the future makeup of the school board this November.

Friday was the deadline for anyone hoping to have a question on the ballot to tell Deputy Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod. But Herod said she knew about everything on the ballot well before Friday’s deadline.

Ballot questions have to be written and turned into Herod by Sept. 2.

Herod said the number of questions this year is typical for off-year ballots.

“It’s usually a pretty small ballot, and we typically have a low voter turnout,” Herod said.

In 2003, the last off-year election, 34 percent of Moffat County’s registered voters cast ballots.

Locally, Horizons Specialized Services is asking voters for a mill levy increase.

What they’re asking would cost a homeowner with a $150,000 house about $12 annually and increase Horizon’s $3 million annual operating budget by about $300,000.

Horizons has a mill levy increase on the Routt County ballot, as well.

Local voters also will be asked to allow the county to keep tax revenues that otherwise would be refunded under a 1913 law.

Under the 1913 law, county property tax revenues are not allowed to grow by more than 5.5 percent annually. Any property tax revenues more than 5.5 percent higher than the previous year must be refunded to the taxpayers.

The ballot question — which, like Horizons, hasn’t been written yet — asks voters to let the county keep about $269,000 in excess taxes this year.

About 80 percent of the excess would go to the county’s top 10 taxpayers.

The 5.5 percent tax question would sunset in five years, meaning the refunds will be restored in 2010.

Moffat County Commis-sioners voted earlier this month to place both questions on the ballot.

The School Board will have three seats up for grabs.

Moffat County School Dis-trict Assistant Super-intendent Joel Sheridan said the district hopes to know who is running for the open seats around Labor Day.

Statewide, voters will be asked to forgo tax refunds, as well.

Referendum C asks voters to let lawmakers spend $3.1 billion during a five-year span that otherwise would be given back under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

Referendum D is a bond for capital investments. The bond would be paid off in part with 10 percent of the money from Referendum C.

To register to vote, visit the Clerk and Recorder’s Office in the county courthouse at 221 Victory Way.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031 or

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