Learn About the Climate Tax

Boulder voters have approved a new tax that provides long-term climate and resilience funding for the community.

  1. Complete

    Feb. 22 City Council

  2. Complete

    Ballot Item Finalization

  3. Complete

    November Election

  4. Community Engagement

    Post-Election Planning

Project Overview

The Climate Tax will fund ongoing programs and new projects that confront the climate crisis and strengthen the wellbeing of everyone in our community.

The Climate Tax will:

  • Raise $6.5 million per year, dedicating $1.5 million per year to accelerate wildfire resilience measures.
  • Combine and replace the Climate Action Plan (CAP) and Utility Occupation (UOT) taxes, allowing the city to simplify climate investments and address inequities created by the previous taxes.
  • Be collected on customer electricity and natural gas bills.
  • Change rates, shifting some tax burden to commercial and industrial businesses.
  • Be in effect through 2040.

Climate Tax Investments

Revenues from the tax will support ongoing and new climate resilience projects. Those could include:

  • 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 transportation electrification projects and electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Advancement of nature-based climate solutions.

Wildfire resilience projects could include:

  • Funding for a dedicated fire risk assessment team.
  • Grants to support residential wildfire risk prevention measures like vegetation management, fence reconstruction and roofing/siding replacement.
  • Strategic undergrounding of power lines.
  • Ecosystem restoration.

Changes to Average Annual Costs, By Customer Type

Customer Type Annual Cost (Climate Tax) Annual Cost (CAP + UOT)
Residential $49.66 $42.95
Commercial $487.37 $292.42
Industrial $1,806.85 $1,084.11
Total Revenue for Climate Efforts $6.5 million $3.9 million

The new tax will appear on future Xcel Energy utility bills for Boulder customers.

Next Steps

In the short term, the city and Xcel Energy will work together to help energy customers understand changes to their 2023 natural gas and electricity bills. City staff will also begin planning new, innovative projects that work toward systems change in and outside of Boulder.

Community Feedback and Engagement

City staff will begin rolling out an engagement process to better understand the needs and desires of the community. These conversations with community members will help guide how existing tax dollars are invested, as well as large-scale investments that could be made locally.

Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to share your ideas.

City Council Process

City Council discussed the tax several times in 2022.