COMMERCE CITY — Commerce City Council officially approved a sales and use tax measure for the November election by unanimous vote during the Aug. 19 council meeting.
If approved, the 1-percent increase would fund five parks, recreation and road improvements during the next five years, as well as provide dedicated revenues to construct, operate and maintain road, park and recreation projects in the future.
“Over the last two years, city council has heard from residents and business on the types of investments that are critical to improving the quality of life in Commerce City,” said Mayor Sean Ford. “Our vision for Commerce City is a Quality Community for a Lifetime; city council believes the sales tax measure is the best way to achieve this vision given our growing population and increasing demand for services.”
The measure is a culmination of work completed by the Quality Community Initiative (QCI), a group chartered by city council in 2011.
The QCI presented recommendations to council on how best to achieve the city’s vision in January 2013, a result of 14 group meetings, a community survey and 13 public meetings. As a result, council requested additional information about specific projects, various revenue options and broader community input over the last six months prior to the Aug. 19 vote.
The measure proposes to build five projects over the next five years, requesting a one-cent (or 1 percent) increase on the city’s current 3.5 percent sales and use tax. The projects include:
• A new recreation center with an indoor pool at Second Creek Community Park.
• Widening of Tower Road from 80th to 103rd avenues.
• New additions to the existing recreation center, including a new therapy pool.
• A seasonal outdoor pool in the southern part of the city.
• Three new neighborhood parks in Fronterra, Turnberry and Villages at Buffalo Run East.
The estimated cost for these projects is about $166 million, with a sales tax increase expected to raise up to $15 million annually. Revenue generated from the proposed increase would be used to construct, operate and maintain the projects, as well as pay off debt service on bonds. The revenue can only be used for future parks, recreation or roadway improvements, ensuring a dedicated funding source for additional needs and their operation.
“On behalf of city council, I want to thank the community and the Quality Community Initiative for their work over the last several years to bring this issue forward,” added Mayor Ford. “City Council wrestled with the appropriate approach to complete the investments necessary to achieve our community vision. ... We felt a sales and use tax proposal was the fairest approach to ensure residents, businesses and visitors contribute to building a better Commerce City for years to come.”