Colorado News Roundup: Ballot measures for constitution changes, town of Vail lift-ticket tax (08.16.16) | SummitDaily.com

Colorado News Roundup: Ballot measures for constitution changes, town of Vail lift-ticket tax (08.16.16)

PUBLIC SAFETY

BOULDER SHOP BELIEVES BREAST MILK FACIALS ATTRACTED VANDALS

BOULDER, Colo. — Owners of a facial bar in Boulder believe their window was smashed in response to a sign advertising breast milk facials.

Mud Facial Bar co-owner Elizabeth Stachovic told The Daily Camera that it doesn't look like anything was taken, and only the window with the advertisement was damaged.

The window advertisement read "Introducing breast milk facial" next to a picture of a woman. Police say they have no suspects in the Aug. 3 or 4 vandalism.

Mud Facial Bar has offered breast-milk facials at its Chicago branch for some time, but the treatment was only recently added to the Boulder options. Stachovic says the ad has been a conversation starter since the beginning.

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She says Mud Facial Bar isn't sure if it will replace the window advertisement.

ELECTION 2016

COLORADO VOTERS COULD MAKE IT HARDER TO CHANGE CONSTITUTION

DENVER — Colorado voters have unusual ballot measure awaiting them this fall — whether to make it harder to change the state constitution through a ballot measure.

A measure approved for state ballots Tuesday would require constitutional amendments to pass by 55 percent, not 50 percent. The proposal would also make it harder to gather the voter signatures required to put amendments on the ballot, raising it from about 98,000 signatures to 2 percent of the registered voters in each of the state's 35 state Senate districts.

The "Raise The Bar" campaign has supporters from both parties who complain that Colorado's state constitution is too easy to change. But Colorado voters have twice before rejected proposals to make it harder to change the state constitution, in 2008 and in 1996.

VAIL SEEKS INPUT ON POSSIBLE LIFT TICKET TAX HIKE

VAIL – The Vail Town Council is seeking public input on a potential November ballot question to increase the town's current 4 percent lift ticket tax.

The possibility of asking Vail's electorate to consider increasing the lift tax was initially posed by council member Dick Cleveland as a way to fund the construction of additional parking in town.

Vail's lift tax was first imposed by ordinance in 1966 as an occupation and business tax on places of business operating a ski lift or ski tow. This was the same time a similar 2 percent occupation and business tax was imposed on lodges, restaurants, liquor stores and retailers. In May 1992, the name of the tax was changed to Ski Area Lift Ticket Admissions Tax, and the rate increased to 4 percent. Revenues from the tax are used to support the town's general fund.

Annual revenue from the lift tax collected in 2015 was $4.7 million and has averaged $4 million annually over the past five years. Lift tax is consistently among the town's top five revenue sources, with sales tax, real estate transfer tax and parking ranking higher.

REPUBLICAN COLORADO SEN. CORY GARDNER DECIDES TO BACK TRUMP

DENVER — Republican Sen. Cory Gardner has decided to back Donald Trump's presidential campaign, ending months of silence on the divisive presidential race and taking a risk with his own political future in a swing state where Trump has had major difficulties.

Gardner first said he supports Trump on Friday during a fundraiser for GOP Senate nominee Darryl Glenn in Colorado Springs.

"I'm voting Republican up and down the ticket," Gardner told the crowd in comments first reported by The Gazette. "A Republican president will make the difference, even a Republican president named Donald Trump."

On Tuesday, Gardner reiterated that position in a statement: "No good Republican could ever support Hillary Clinton for president," adding it was critical to defeat the Democratic nominee and expand GOP majorities in the House and Senate.

He didn't mention Trump by name in his statement. The fresh-faced, 41-year-old senator was elected in 2014 with a promise to shake up Washington and stand up to President Obama.

His more optimistic conservatism notably conflicts with Trump's harder-edged, populist approach, and Gardner had pointedly withheld his endorsement from the reality show star after Trump clinched the GOP nomination in May.

Gardner even engaged in a Twitter war with Trump in April after the developer slammed Colorado for its complex nominating process, which was won by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Clinton and her allies have scaled back advertising in Colorado recently, a sign the once-prominent battleground state is less in contention during this election.

Colorado's increasingly affluent and college-educated electorate is a poor fit for Trump's message of a nation in decline, and Gardner runs a risk of alienating moderate voters with his stance. However, Gardner also ran the risk of alienating his Republican base if he remained neutral on the presidential contest.

The senator is not up for re-election until 2020.

— The Associated Press