Mt. Crested Butte set on having at least one issue on November ballot

Admission tax is top dog

The town of Mt. Crested Butte will be asking voters to consider at least one ballot measure during this November’s general election. 



On Tuesday, May 5 the council decided to inform the county clerk that the town wished to participate in the election.  The deadline to inform the county clerk of a municipality’s intent to participate in the election has May 11.  
To start the discussion, Mayor William Buck told his fellow council members that they needed to consider putting at least an admissions tax renewal question on the ballot.  
The town currently charges an additional 4 percent sales tax on admissions related events, like lift ticket purchases and snowmobile rentals.  The accumulated funds are used to support local transportation efforts and marketing the area, and various groups make regular requests for admission tax funds.  The admission tax is set to expire in May, 2010.
Town manager Joe Fitzpatrick agreed with Buck and said if an admissions tax renewal question fails this November the town would still have the chance to ask voters to reconsider the question during the town’s April elections.
He also suggested the council give some thought to having additional ballot questions such as reinstating a half percent sales tax that expired this year, as well as a possible mil levy issue.  
Last November the town was unsuccessful in passing a mil levy increase.  The mil levy ballot question also asked voters to re-approve the half percent sales tax.
The town was successful in passing a bond issue allowing the town to withdraw several million dollars in municipal bonds for a handful of infrastructure projects and public amenities.  Without the additional funding from a mil levy increase, the town has been unable to proceed with taking out any bonds.    
Councilmember Dave Clayton asked, “what’s the time frame before we have to put the actual ballot issue forward?”
Fitzpatrick said, “we have to be really cranking by July.”
“We just need to reserve some space on the ballot?” asked councilmember Bill Babbitt.
Fitzpatrick said that was the case.  
The council unanimously agreed to have at least one question on the ballot and to inform the county clerk of their intent to participate in the general election.  
The council will be having future discussions in the upcoming months to formulate the ballot question or questions. 

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