Larimer Elected Officials Begin Open Space Tax Discussion

In 1996 Larimer County voters approved a citizen-initiated open space sales tax of .25 percent. The tax was extended by the voters in 1999 and will expire in 2018. It is likely voters will be asked to extend the tax again this November.

The revenues are divided between the County and its municipalities. At a May 29 joint meeting of the Loveland City Council, Larimer County Commissioners, Fort Collins City Council and Berthoud trustees, elected officials discussed a preliminary proposal to change the formula under which the revenues from the tax are distributed.

Currently, Larimer County receives about 43 percent of the taxes generated by the sales taxes. However, the county is suggesting that the county’s share be increased to 50 percent to cover the cost of maintaining the properties that the county has purchased and create additional amenities.

The original ballot language passed in 1996 stipulated that the county would receive not more than 45 percent of the revenues. Therefore, if participating governments agree to change the percentage of the tax allocation, it will need to be approved by county voters.

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