Survey feedback will help inform November ballot item.

The City of Boulder will be conducting outreach to Boulder businesses about a tax initiative that may appear on the November ballot. The survey will be open through at least July 26 to all businesses located in the City of Boulder.

The survey seeks business feedback on a proposal to simplify and expand the community’s investment in climate and resilience programs. Currently, Boulder taxpayers contribute about $4 million to climate and sustainability programs annually. Early next year, a portion of this funding is set to expire, creating a gap.

Closing the Funding Gap

To close this funding gap, the city is proposing a climate tax that would replace the existing Climate Action Plan and Utility Occupation taxes. As proposed, the climate tax would be collected on Xcel Energy bills and would raise $5 to $8 million annually to fund climate and resilience efforts. The tax revenue amount is subject to council’s input, scheduled for discussion at the July 21 meeting.

“Businesses are a key partner in climate action and help contribute to the community’s investment in climate programs,” said Interim Climate Initiatives Director Jonathan Koehn. “We are eager to learn more about what’s working for businesses in this area and what can be improved as we work together on climate action.”

Boulder Aerial 2020

By creating a new climate tax, the city can simplify climate investments, tackle high-impact projects, better align investments and address inequities created by the current tax. As proposed, the annual tax rates would decrease for residents and increase for commercial and industrial businesses:

Customer Current Annual Rate Proposed Range of Annual Rate
Residential $42.95 $38.20 to $61.12
Commercial $241.29 $374.90 to $599.84
Industrial $704.83 $1,389.89 to $2,223.82
Total Revenue Collected $3.9 million $5 million to $8 million

The Climate Tax would support new and ongoing work.

If approved by voters, revenues from this tax would support ongoing and new climate and resilience projects, including direct cash assistance to homeowners, landlords and businesses to fund energy efficiency upgrades; projects such as microgrids and energy storage to support resilience and renewable energy development; residential and commercial building electrification; expansion of city transportation electrification projects and city-owned electric vehicle charging stations; regulation and building codes; and more.

Community Feedback

The survey aimed at businesses comes after the city conducted a similar poll for Boulder voters.

Broadly, the results of the Boulder voter survey indicated that the community is deeply concerned about the climate crisis and is largely supportive of the city’s tax proposal. A majority of voters, 71%, said they would vote to approve a new climate tax at an annual rate of $8 million per year. The survey is now open online.

Learn more about the climate tax proposal on the city's website.