There are three issues facing the Larimer County voters on the November 2014 ballot – protection of open space, jail and animal control facility. The Colorado statewide issues were covered in “Voting on the 2014 ballot issues in Colorado.”
Ballot Issue 1A (Recommended: YES): Continue protecting our natural areas, open space, rivers and wildlife habitat. The main concern with this issue is whether the tax of one-quarter of one percent should be extended for 25 years. This is not a tax increase (as those who oppose the issue say), but rather, an extension of an existing tax. Is the money handled properly? That is the question that should be up for discussion, however, it is not. Should expensive acquisitions of land be the only way to preserve land? Probably not. If you want those questions answered, vote NO. However, if you believe open space and other areas should be protected, vote YES. There is very little opposition to this ballot issue, and it is backed by the Estes Valley Land Trust.
Ballot Issue 1B (Recommended: YES): Continue Larimer County Jail Countywide Sales and Use Tax. Again, no tax increase, however, it is a continuation of a fifteen one-hundredths of one percent tax extension for another 25 years. This is actually a drop in the full amount. The county prepared for the expiration of this tax by cutting budgets over the past 4 years. That in itself shows great foresight in a department that is typically underfunded. Most of the opposition is against the language of the bill, not the bill itself. A letter to the editor Reporter Herald supports Ballot Issue 1B.
Ballot Issue 200 (Recommended: NO): Animal Care and Control Facility Sales and Use Tax and Debt Question. The main reason for a no vote on Ballot Issue 200 is the “debt question” portion of the issue. This is an “it’s for the animals” ballot issue to tug at your heartstrings, but do your research and look at the facts. Yes, it would build a new facility for animals, however, the facility would not be owned by the taxpayers. It would be immediately transferred to the Humane Society. Why not allow people who feel strongly about this issue to donate directly to the Humane Society and keep government out of the needs of our animals? There is no business plan to go with this tax, nor any guaranty that the facility will be built in the most cost effective way. This ballot issue is ripe for waste and overspending. Vote NO if you want more information before increasing a tax and debt. Vote YES if you see this as the only way to help animals in Larimer County.