2015 Special Election

Update as of April 2015

A special election regarding the allocation of the City’s sales tax revenue was held on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. As a result of this election, 54.3% of the City’s primary revenue source is now restricted for capital spending, reducing the amount that is unrestricted and available for operations.

Ballot question #2 (Ordinance 2014-28) was approved with 977 “yes” votes versus 871 “no” votes.  The first question on the ballot, which was the city council’s alternative language, was defeated with 960 “no” votes and “870” yes votes. City Council approved a budget amendment on April 7 to come into compliance with the new ordinance. The operating budget was reduced by $521,300 so that more funds are available for capital spending. The City Council is currently considering alternatives to bring the operating budget back in balance before draining all unrestricted reserves.

Previously, the one-percent sales tax was restricted for construction, operation, maintenance, and repair of roads and other public infrastructure of the City.  A portion was budgeted for capital improvement projects and a portion was used for the public works department operating budget in compliance with the restrictions.

Background Information

The election was a mail-in ballot only; ballots were mailed to registered voters in Salida between March 2-9, 2015. Ballots had to be returned by 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 24.

Please register to vote if you have not already. You could register to vote up to the day of the election. Please note you needed to be a resident of Colorado for a minimum of 22 days before March 24, 2015 in order to vote in this election. You may go online to www.govotecolorado.com to register to vote or update your current voter registration.  You may also register to vote or update your registration at Salida City Hall or the Chaffee County Clerks Office.

The first test of the electronic counting machine was held at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 6, 2015 at the Counting Center in the Chaffee County Courthouse.

The sales tax allocation methodology prior to the election and possible alternatives in the two ballot measures are provided below.

Current City Sales Tax Allocation

4-3-50.             Disposition of revenue.

(a)        Thirty-five percent (35%) of proceeds received from the two-percent sales tax imposed by the City shall be pledged to the Sales Tax Capital Improvement Fund to be used to provide streets and other capital improvements or to pay debt service on bonds or other obligations of the City issued to provide for such capital improvements.  All other revenue shall be allocated as follows:

(1)        Nine percent (9%) shall be allocated to a Capital Expenditures Fund to be used for the purchase of machinery and equipment that is greater than five hundred dollars ($500.00) with a useful life in excess of one (1) year.

(2)        One percent (1%) shall be allocated to an Economic Development Fund to be used as approved by the City Council for economic development within the City.

(3)        Up to eight percent (8%) shall be allocated to a Contingency Fund in any calendar year when such fund is less than fifteen percent (15%) of the City’s General Fund Operating Budget, it being the intent to maintain a Contingency Fund which, in any year, is equal to fifteen percent (15%) of the General Fund Operating Budget.  The Contingency Fund can be utilized by the City Council to cover unbudgeted, unforeseen reductions in revenue collections or unusual expenditures outside the scope of normal operations.

(4)        All other revenue collected from the City sales tax shall be allocated to the General Fund for operating expenditures.

(b)        The proceeds of the one percent (1.0%) increase in sales tax imposed by Ordinance No. 34, Series of 2008 shall be used for funding construction, operation, maintenance, and repair of roads and other public infrastructure of the City.

Possible Changes to Sales Tax Allocation (listed in the order they will appear on the ballot)

1. Proposed City Council Alternative (Ordinance 2015-02)

Shall Ordinance 2015-02 be adopted to amend section 4-30-50 of the Salida Municipal Code to read as follows effective April 1, 2015?

4-3-50.       Disposition of revenue.

(a) Thirty five percent (35.0%) of proceeds received from the three-percent sales tax imposed by the City shall be restricted for capital spending as defined below in 4-3-50(d).

(b) Annually, at least sixty percent (60.0%) or $1,000,000, whichever is greater, of the proceeds identified in 4-3-50(a) received after January 1, 2015 shall be used for capital spending for streets, alleys and sidewalks and must be spent within two years of collection.

(c) Any proceeds from the sales tax for restricted capital spending received and not spent within the same fiscal year shall be held in a restricted capital reserve account until appropriated for capital spending in a future year.

(d) Capital spending is defined as expenditures for real, personal and/or intangible property with a cost of $5,000 or greater and a useful life longer than 3 years including by way of example machinery, equipment, vehicles, facilities and public improvements.

(e) The City Administrator shall report quarterly to the City Council identifying all year to date capital spending including the amount, vendor and project. These reports shall be made readily available to the public for review through the City’s website and at City Hall.

2. Proposed Carlisle / Farney Initiative (Ordinance 2014-28)

Shall Ordinance 2014-28 be adopted to amend Section 4-30-50(b) of the Salida Municipal Code to read as follows effective January 1, 2015?

4-3-50.  Disposition of revenue.

(b) Commencing with fiscal year 2015, the proceeds of the one percent (1.0%) increase in sales tax imposed by Ordinance No. 34, Series of 2008 (hereinafter “2A funds”) shall be used as follows:

(1) At least seventy-five percent (75%) of 2A funds shall be budgeted, allocated and expended solely to:

(A) Replace, repair or improve streets and the water or sewer lines underlying or running along those streets;

(B) Replace, repair, improve or newly install or construct sidewalks, street curbs, gutters, or storm drainage systems underlying or running along those streets.

(2) The remainder, if any, of 2A funds not spent pursuant to Sec. 4-3-50(b)(1) shall be budgeted, allocated and expended solely for maintenance, routine repair, and upkeep of the city’s streets, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, water lines, sewer lines and storm drainage systems.

(3) Any and all expenditures made pursuant to Sec. 4-3-50(b)(1) shall be capital expenditures. “Streets” as used in Sec. 4-3-50(b)(1) are defined as existing dedicated public roads within the City of Salida that provide lawful motor vehicle access to adjacent properties.

(4) At the end of each fiscal year, any excess 2A funds shall be held in trust for future use for the same purposes at the same allocations stated in Section 4-3-50(b)(1) and (2) above.

(5) With respect to 2A funds spent on the projects listed in Sec. 4-3-50(b)(1), each annual budget prepared and adopted pursuant to C.R.S. §§ 29-1-103, -105 and -108 shall identify:

(A) Each project to be replaced, repaired, improved, installed or constructed in the upcoming fiscal year, with a specific accounting by project of estimated costs;

(B) Each project undertaken during the present fiscal year, with a specific accounting by project of all sums spent to date; and,

(C) Each project undertaken in the prior fiscal year, with a specific accounting by project of all sums spent that year.

(6) “Specific accounting by project” is defined as, at minimum, a statement of the separate cost for each and every specific portion of work (i.e. – curb and gutter, storm drainage system, water line, sewer line, sidewalk and / or nature and type of street work) for each and every project, and the street along which such work is done.

(7) No portion of Sec. 4-3-50(b)(1) expenditures shall be used to install or construct sidewalks, water lines, sewer lines, street curbs, gutters and / or storm drainage systems primarily serving the “Vandaveer Ranch”, said Ranch including any parcel of land described in “Exhibit A” of the deed recorded September 1, 2004 in the offices of the Clerk and Recorder of Chaffee County, Reception No. 346022.

(8) Any and all Sec. 4-3-50(b)(1) expenditures shall be made through, and accounted for within, capital expenditures of the City’s General Fund.