Breckenridge kills lift-ticket tax question for November
May 30, 2012
The Town of Breckenridge put the brakes on three proposed ballot measures Tuesday that have been on the town council’s top priority list for several months.
Council members decided not to move forward putting questions regarding a lift ticket tax, a child care tax and extended term limits before voters on the November ballot or in the near future.
The lift-ticket tax, which was proposed to generate revenue for an enhanced and integrated transit system in Breckenridge, has been a topic of debate for both the council and the community since last year.
The town entered into closed-door discussions with Breckenridge Ski Resort last year to work toward a public-private partnership to improve town transit systems in lieu of the lift-ticket tax, which the resort opposed.
With those talks coming to fruition and no specific vision for an integrated transit system settled on, the council decided it would be “premature” to move forward with a lift-ticket tax ballot question in November or the foreseeable future.
“Until I see what the ultimate solution might be and what that really will cost the community, I think that’s when we think about how do we sustainably fund that,” Councilman Gary Gallagher said. “I think it’s premature to think about where the revenue source might come from.”
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The council also shut down a ballot question that would have extended term limits for council members.
The measure has been proposed in the past, often prior to an election when members of the council were facing term limits.
While the council was more open to the idea of asking voters to extend term limits when it would not immediately apply to any sitting council members and was not coming just ahead of a local election, the proposal was still killed on a 4-3 vote.
“I think term limits are good,” Councilwoman Wendy Wolfe said Tuesday before opposing the ballot question. “Part of our job is to inspire good people to run, and I think two terms is enough.”
Council members Ben Brewer, Mike Dudick and Jen McAtamney supported the measure.
The council also volleyed back to the citizens a proposed ballot question asking voters to approve a tax to fund child care subsidies in Breckenridge.
A task force made up of leaders of Breckenridge’s early-childhood education facilities asked the council to consider backing a ballot question for a tax to cover the cost of a child care scholarship program for low-income families for the November 2013 election.
Council members said the measure needed to generate enough money to sustain the necessary programs into the future, but ultimately decided to charge the task force with going to the community to gather the hundreds of signatures needed to put the question on the ballot as a citizens’ initiative.