Pueblo West will be voting on an initiative that would help fund a new community pool, but it would be using excess money that is supposed to be returned to the taxpayer.
Pueblo West tried voting on de-brucing, but that didn’t work, so the ballot is calling for a TABOR timeout for the next ten years to pay for an aquatic center. Basically that means a ‘yes’ vote allows Pueblo West to obtain all tax revenue, a ‘no’ vote would keep Colorado TABOR laws in place which puts a cap on tax revenue a municipality can obtain, and that municipality has to refund the money to the taxpayers.
Pueblo West’s initiative 5A would bring partial funding for a new pool. Grant Shay says because of the current pool being overcrowded, his kids were turned away.
“I found out that this pool is 40 years old,” said Shay, “and when the pool was built for this community, this community was the size of 1,500 people, today it’s 30,000 people. So I thought it’s probably time to start looking at a new pool.”
Shay started a petition online, Pueblo West Metro District saw a decent response and decided to partner a TABOR timeout with the pool, so residents can see exactly what the excess tax money would fund.
“I think the citizens of this community have been pretty resistant to tax increases of any kind,” said William Clemens
Clemens is against Initiative 5A, the one time general manager of the Pueblo Chieftain knows this isn’t being called a tax raise.”The way I look at it if you don’t get a refund that you have coming, you had a tax increase, pure and simple,” said Clemens.
TABOR caps the tax income a municipality can use, that municipality has to return the money that exceeds the cap to the taxpayer.
“Instead of getting a check back for a few dollars, it’s going to go towards a new aquatic center for the community,” said Shay.
The TABOR timeout would use that excess tax money for ten years,”It’s ridiculous that we don’t have something like that here that could draw people from the surrounding areas here,” said Shay
The opposition doesn’t want to see ten years tied up into one project. “To give up the possibility of a tax refund for a pool, I don’t think so. You know, let them figure out how to spend the money in a more judicious way and I’d have a different attitude toward it,” said Clemens.
People for the pool can join Grant Shay’s facebook page called “Work Group for New Pueblo West Pool.” If you head over to pueblovotes.com you can look at the summary against 5A which was written in part by William Clemens.