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2020 Ballot Item: 2D - Repurpose the Utility Occupation Tax

Boulder voters will consider a variety of measures on the Nov. 3, 2020, election, including this one. Visit  election information  for a complete list of ballot measures and other information.

Ballot Language

Utility Occupation Tax

Without raising the tax rate shall the existing Utility Occupation Tax, which in 2021 and 2022 will be in the amount of $2,076,181, be extended from a current expiration date of December 31, 2022 to December 31, 2025 and be repurposed to pay all costs associated with the formation of a municipal electric utility and to be used to fund projects, pilots, initiatives and research that support the city's clean energy goals in the context of the city's racial equity goals and the community's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement such as:

  • Providing energy-related assistance to disadvantaged members of the community, including support for utility bill payments and access to renewable energy;
  • Improving system reliability and modernizing, and supporting clean energy-related businesses, including, without limitation, new approaches in electrification of buildings and transportation, enhancement of resilience;
  • Implementing a partnership agreement with Public Service Company of Colorado; and
  • Increasing access to energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions

Only if a majority of registered electors approve a Franchise Agreement with Public Service Company of Colorado at the November 3, 2020 Election,

And shall the increased and extended portion of the tax be subject to the same terms and conditions as the original tax and all earnings thereon (regardless of amount) constitute a voter approved revenue change, and an exception to the revenue and spending limits of Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution? 


Related Documents

Ask questions about this ballot item

This year, Boulder voters will vote on five city ballot items. For consistency and transparency, the city is answering all questions related to ballot measures through Be Heard Boulder. Use Be Heard Boulder pages to ask questions about the measures and get factual answers from city staff. City staff will answer questions submitted through Oct. 16.

Under the Fair Campaign Practices Act, the city is limited to the information we can provide during election season. We will not provide opinion or analysis, but we will provide factual information to help inform your decisions.

Access the Q&A pages for this ballot item: 2D: Utility Occupation Tax Extension


Under the proposed ordinance, the tax on electricity bills which raises approximately $2 million per year and currently funds municipalization, would be repurposed and extended to allow fund the city’s efforts to meet its climate, racial equity and energy goals in partnership with Xcel Energy. 

If passed, this item would only go into effect if voters also approve the franchise ballot item in the Nov. 3, 2020 election.

The potential partnership is a part of a larger settlement package with Xcel Energy. There are several key components to the settlement package, including opportunities for the city to exit the franchise agreement under certain conditions; clear emissions benchmarks; and a framework for innovative projects the city, Xcel Energy and the community could implement together. This ballot item would fund projects, programs and pilots that arise from the Xcel partnership.

Learn more on the city’s settlement web page.

Implementing the proposed partnership will require significant staff work and financial resources, which this ballot item would provide. These funds would be directed to pay for partnership projects, pilot programs and services.