City of Boulder voters passed two items on the November 2021 ballot.
- A 15-year extension of the 0.30% Community, Culture, Resilience and Safety Tax, formerly known as the Community, Culture and Safety Tax (CCS).
- The approval of up to a $110 million bond measure to help fund infrastructure projects.
Since these measures are extensions, and not new initiatives, city sales tax rates will not increase. The 0.3% sales tax extension is expected to generate about $11.5 million annually. Revenues from this tax could be used to pay off up to $110 million in bond issuances. The cost of a 0.3% sales tax on a $100 purchase is 30 cents.
On Nov. 2, 2021, City of Boulder voters overwhelmingly approved a 15-year extension of the Community, Culture, Resilience and Safety Tax (CCRS). The extension is expected to generate about $11.5 million annually to finance projects that support community safety and well-being and provide funding to several community nonprofits.
Key focus areas for the funding include maintaining and modernizing Boulder's transportation system to allow for safer and more efficient flow for all modes of transportation; making progress toward climate goals; maintaining and replacing infrastructure that supports first responders; updating facilities to provide opportunities for community members to recreate and maintain healthy and active lifestyle; and optimizing the city’s data and outreach tools for more transparent, accessible and user-friendly service. Additionally, the extension will provide up to 10% of the revenue to fund grants for nonprofit organizations that serve the people of Boulder.
Examples of city projects that may receive funding include:
- Maintaining and improving roads and multi-modal paths
- Replacing critically deteriorated signal poles
- Replacing the Central Avenue bridge
- Improving the Boulder Creek Path corridor
- Implementing the Boulder Civic Area Phase 2/Central Park improvements
- Completing Fire Station 3 construction and relocating or reconstructing Fire Station 2 or Fire Station 4
- Purchasing emergency vehicles for Boulder Fire-Rescue to provide advanced life support
- Renovations at East Boulder Community Center
- Acquiring streetlight systems and converting to LED lights
- Refreshing the Pearl Street Mall
As a next step, staff teams will take steps to identify and propose initial projects in the key focus areas for funding, develop the non-profit grant program and incorporate the funding plan into the city’s budget process.
Community Survey Summary
In June 2021, the city conducted a survey to measure voter support for the potential ballot measures. The survey also measured voter opinion of the importance of different infrastructure project categories. Here are the key findings from 1,911 responses:
- Voters support a 15-year extension of a 0.3% sales tax to fund infrastructure and non-profit community projects. 73% would vote yes and approve this ballot measure, 20% would oppose it and 7% were undecided.
- Voters support a $110 million bond measure to help accelerate funding of infrastructure and non-profit community projects. 64% would vote yes and approve this ballot measure, 23% would oppose it and 13% of voters are undecided.
- The infrastructure project with the strongest level of voter support was the improvement of the city’s vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian flow to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (79% more likely to support ballot measures).
- Other infrastructure projects with strong voter support include the reclaiming of the Boulder Creek Path corridor (77% more likely to support), relocation and construction of Fire Stations #2 and #4 (72% more likely to support) and the expansion of Fire Station #3 (69% more likely to support).
- The survey measured the importance of five different infrastructure categories. The most important categories to voters were Transportation System Resilience (81% extremely or very important), Progress Towards Climate Goals (71%), Safe and Prepared Boulder (70%), Active and Healthy Boulder (46%) and Customer Service Modernization (40%).
- The survey measured the change in voter support if the percentage of the sales tax revenue going towards non-profit community projects increased to 15% or 20% from 10%. Among all respondents, 29% were more likely to support the sales tax ballot measure if it was raised to 15%, and 25% if it was raised to 20%.
2017 Community, Culture and Safety Tax Projects
2017 City Projects
- Fire Station #3 Relocation
Relocate Fire Station 3, located at 1585 30th Street, to allow for better service delivery to a significant part of the city that is not currently within a four-minute response time of any the city's fire stations. The design of the new station was completed in mid-2020 and construction is estimated to begin in late 2022 and last for about 18 months.
The new station will also contain the Fire Administration offices and space to accommodate Advanced Life Support staff and equipment. A training room will be available for use by the community as a meeting room. The building’s design and landscaping will incorporate sustainable and energy-efficient features.
- Fourmile Canyon Creek Greenways Improvements
Construction of a multi-use path connection between 19th Street and Broadway, and the replacement of two structurally deficient bridges at Violet Avenue and Upland Avenue with bicycle/pedestrian underpasses that serve a flood benefit.
- Library - North Boulder Branch
The North Boulder Library Branch will provide a new full-service branch library with community meeting space, room for partner organizations and connections to draw the community together.
- Public Art
Continue the investment in public art projects throughout the city.
- Citywide Radio Infrastructure
Implement a modern system that will increase the city's ability to communicate cross-departmentally and with other county, state and mutual-aid agencies, as well as make necessary improvements to infrastructure and process.
- Scott Carpenter Pool Replacement - Complete
Provides a new bath house, lap pool, family leisure pool, water slides, shade structures, parking expansion, and other various park improvements.
2017 Community Projects
- Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
Renovation of the current facility, which is necessary for the organization to sustain its current levels of growth and provide the best service for the community.
- ReSource Central
Zero Waste Community Center, which will provide additional facility space, including a covered retail area, warehouse with offices, a lumber de-nailing area and improved drop-off areas.
- Community Cycles - Complete
Expanded community bicycle center, tripling the amount of space available to serve Boulder with bicycle recycling, sales of affordable used bikes, classes on bicycle safety and bike care and repair.
- Growing Gardens - Complete
Completion of a Pollinator Pavilion, which will house administrative offices, a workshop conditioned meeting space, restrooms and a central covered area for harvesting.
Expand and modernize the current facility, into a 21st century, energy efficient, permanent media training and multicultural Community Media Center.
- Meals on Wheels - Complete
A new facility for Meals on Wheels of Boulder that will be an asset to the community and an investment in Boulder's future.
- Studio Arts Boulder
A new facility for community education in the studio arts, including ceramics, woodworking, printmaking and additional flexible studio space for glass, fiber and metal
2014 Community, Culture and Safety Tax Projects
The first Community, Culture and Safety tax was passed in 2014 and expired at the end of 2017. Several projects are complete. Those projects not yet complete are still in development phases for various reasons, including the need for all funds to be finalized at the end of 2017 before proceeding or for scheduled matching funds to be delivered to the projects to move forward.
- Boulder Creek Arapahoe and 13th Underpass
- Boulder Creek Eben G. Fine Park Stream Bank Restoration
- Boulder Creek Path and Lighting Improvements
- Chautauqua Pedestrian Safety, Access and Lighting
- Chautauqua Phase 1 Lighting
- Civic Area Connectivity and Access
- Civic Area Creek at the Core
- Dairy Center Theatre Improvements
- Museum of Boulder Museum Improvements
- Public Art Projects
- University Hill Event Street
- University Hill Pedestrian Lighting
- University Hill Street Trees Improvements