Dear Pueblo West Residents,
The District has been engaged in several policy issues since our last meeting in late-January that will have a positive impact on our economic future and the delivery of services to our community.
The Board of Directors has asked the District staff to engage residents on the impact of a De-Brucing ballot initiative for the May election. Simply put, the proposed De-Brucing initiative will not result in any tax rate increase for Pueblo West residents and residents will still retain full and unfettered authority to approve all future tax increases.
Through De-Brucing, the District will be able to retain property tax revenues from only the existing voter approved 20.193 mill levy and can only use those revenues on Pueblo West’s restrictive general fund service plan (Fire and EMS, Parks and Recreation, and Streets and Roads). Unlike a County or City, a Special District like Pueblo West cannot spend taxpayer funds on any services outside of the District’s approved service plan.
De-Brucing is not a partisan measure, but rather a pragmatic measure that has been approved by hundreds of communities due to the impact of the Great Recession. In a recession, local government revenues often decline and fall short of the TABOR limit for that year. As part of the TABOR formula, that lower revenue level becomes the basis for calculating allowable revenues in all subsequent years.
With the current growth of the Pueblo West Community and the requisite increase in service demand, the TABOR revenue formula requires that Pueblo West revert back to recession era revenues to maintain the current level of services for our increasing population. Rather than reduce the level or quality of service to our community, it makes fiscal sense to retain these revenues through De-Brucing and maintain or improve services to our community without a tax increase. If residents have questions or concerns regarding the proposed De-Brucing ballot initiative please contact Pueblo West Metro District by March 3rd at 719-547-2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Pueblo West Metro District’s recent sponsorship of House Bill 16-1011 has raised several questions from residents. To clarify, Pueblo West Metropolitan District has no legal authority under C.R.S. Title 32 to levy or request approval from local taxpayers for a tax to incentivize the recruitment, expansion, or retention of businesses. The passage of this bill simply allows the Metro District to use existing time and resources to educate, inform, market, and actively attract and retain businesses and jobs to the Community of Pueblo West. Pueblo West has over 400 acres of available business zoned property, existing state enterprise zone tax incentives, and $122 million dollars in retail and commercial market surplus to bring businesses to our community. Without a change to this law, all of these resources simply go to waste and our community becomes an unplanned patchwork of disparate and uncoordinated businesses that have no semblance of vision or community identity.
Lastly, Pueblo West Metro District will be holding a mail in election on the 3rd day of May, 2016. At that time, two directors will be elected to serve 4-year terms. Eligible electors of the Pueblo West Metropolitan District interested in serving on the board of directors may obtain a self-nomination and acceptance form online or from the Designated Election Official, Harley Gifford at Pueblo West Metropolitan District, 109 E. Industrial Boulevard, Pueblo West, Colorado. The Office of the DEO is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The deadline for submission of self-nomination and acceptance forms is 5:00 p.m. on February 26th, 2016.
Darrin K. Tangeman
Pueblo West Metropolitan District