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5A - Official Ballot Question

Eagle County School District RE50J Ballot Issue No. 5A

 

To: ALL REGISTERED VOTERS

NOTICE OF ELECTION TO INCREASE TAXES AND DEBT ON A REFERRED MEASURE

EAGLE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT RE50J

EAGLE, GARFIELD AND ROUTT COUNTIES, COLORADO

 

Designated Election Official:

Melissa Gerard, Designated Election Official

Eagle County School District RE50J

948 Chambers Ave.

Eagle, CO 81631

Telephone: (970) 328-6321

 

Election Date: November 7, 2023

Election Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Eagle County School District RE50J Ballot Issue No. 5A

SHALL EAGLE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT RE50J TAXES BE INCREASED $3.5 MILLION IN 2024 AND BY SUCH AMOUNTS AS GENERATED ANNUALLY THEREAFTER BY IMPOSITION OF A MILL LEVY WHICH GENERATES REVENUE, TOGETHER WITH REVENUES PRODUCED BY PREVIOUS VOTER AUTHORIZED TAX INCREASES, IS NOT GREATER THAN 25% OF THE DISTRICT’S TOTAL PROGRAM FUNDING PLUS Town of Avon Ballot Issue 2A – Use Tax on Construction Materials Eagle County School District RE50J Ballot Issue No. 5A 3 3 SUPPLEMENTAL COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT FOR EDUCATION PURPOSES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO:

  • ATTRACTING AND RETAINING QUALITY TEACHERS AND STAFF;

  • ENHANCING SAFETY AND SECURITY FOR SCHOOLS AND CLASSROOMS;

  • PROVIDING SUPPORT SERVICES LIKE MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING;

  • MAINTAINING PROGRAMS LIKE ART, MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY, AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION;

 

PROVIDED THAT NO REVENUE SHALL BE UTILIZED FOR SENIOR DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION AND THE DISTRICT WILL BE SUBJECT TO AN ANNUAL INDEPENDENT AUDIT PUBLISHED ON THE DISTRICT’S WEBSITE; AND SHALL SUCH TAX INCREASE TO BE AN ADDITIONAL PROPERTY TAX MILL LEVY PURSUANT TO, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 22-54-108, C.R.S, IN EXCESS OF THE LEVY AUTHORIZED FOR THE DISTRICT’S GENERAL FUND; AND SHALL THE DISTRICT BE AUTHORIZED TO COLLECT, RETAIN AND SPEND ALL REVENUES FROM SUCH TAXES AND THE EARNINGS FROM THE INVESTMENT OF SUCH REVENUES AS VOTER APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE UNDER ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION?

_____ YES/FOR _____ NO/AGAINST

Total District Fiscal Year Spending

 

Fiscal Year

2023-2024 (estimated) $164,277,933

2022-2023 (actual) $141,807,506

2021-2022 (actual) $124,119,369

2020-2021 (actual) $112,322,113

2019-2020 (actual) $113,338,828

 

Overall percentage change from 2019-2020 to 2023-2024: 44.95% Overall dollar change from 2019-2020 to 2023-2024: $50,939,105

 

Proposed Tax Increase

 

District Estimate of the Maximum Dollar Amount of the Proposed Tax Increase For Fiscal Year 2024-2025 (the First Full Fiscal Year of the Proposed Tax Increase): BALLOT ISSUE NO. 5A: $3,500,000

 

District Estimate of 2024-2025 Fiscal Year Spending Without the Proposed Tax Increase: $188,918,622

 

Summary of Written Comments FOR Ballot Issue No. 5A:

 

Public education in Colorado has always been underfunded when compared to the rest of the country, and this is not changing anytime soon. To compensate for insufficient funding from the state level, school districts rely on their local communities to provide necessary funding through voter-approved property tax-generated investments in local schools.

 

The nationwide shortage of qualified teachers has impacted every school district, including the Eagle County School District (ECSD). Retaining and attracting quality teachers and staff is especially challenging for ECSD because of the cost of living and lack of affordable housing. 5A will help ECSD compete for quality teachers and staff by increasing salaries and benefits, enabling the district to retain and recruit the best and brightest teachers and staff.

 

$3 million of 5A funding will go to increasing teacher and staff salaries to keep ECSD salaries competitive with other school districts across the state and country. Funds from 5A will not be used to increase compensation for senior district administrators. The cost of living in Eagle County makes it difficult for teachers to stay here when other districts in the Front Range are offering higher salaries. ECSD wants to stay in the top 10 of the 178 school districts in Colorado for teacher pay to keep the quality teachers we already have and attract more of the best teachers to our schools.

 

School safety and security are a key priority, as is providing much needed student mental health services and counseling supports to ensure the success of every child. ECSD is completing an assessment of its safety and security protocols across the district and based on the recommendations of this study, 5A will enhance the safety and security for schools and classrooms.

 

5A will also provide immense value to students and staff and help address ongoing challenges following the pandemic. Programs and services dedicated to pandemic recovery need additional funding. 5A will provide critical student support services including mental health counseling, suicide prevention programs, and intervention specialists to work with students.

 

5A will also allow the district to maintain and expand programs including art, music, technology, and physical education improving academic performance opportunities and preparing students for college, entering the workforce, and to be well rounded successful individuals with bright futures.

 

ECSD has an opportunity to benefit from Eagle County’s increased assessed property values to fund the mill levy opportunity and finance building employee housing and early childcare education facilities without incrementally adding to property taxes. ECSD does not receive a windfall from increased assessed property values but will benefit from the overall increase in property tax collections due to the increase in property values. In fact, because education funding in Colorado is capped by the School Finance Act and its complicated formula, ECSD will need to reduce its mill levy next year by 2 mills to stay within the requirements of capped funding. Voter approval of both 5A and 5B does not create an increase in the total mill levy paid to ECSD.

 

Summary of Written Comments AGAINST Ballot Issue No. 5A:

 

No comments were filed by the constitutional deadline.

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