, 64 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
New topic, new thread. This one's a bit heady. It's about unfunded needs in the city (which we visited earlier this year) and how that plays into what council might want to ask the voters to fund via new/extended taxes. boulderbeat.news/2019/04/11/cit…
This is mostly related to open space, which has $40M in deferred maintenance. Two reasons for this: the increase in users/visitors and the decrease in sales tax revenue going to the dept.
The analysis around the reduced revenue was based on the reduction in acquisitions of property. But it didn't account for the huge amount of new visitors to open space: From 2005-2018, 4.68M to 6.25M users per year.
“Overall, the cost of maintaining the system has outpaced earlier projections.”
That was from the council memo, btw.
I'mma cool it on the tweets for a min. Gotta pay attention; budget stuff is still a bit hard for me to follow.
Here's the powerpoint so you can follow along: www-static.bouldercolorado.gov/docs/Update_to…
Of 11 cities on the Front Range, Boulder has the highest sales and use tax rate. (Page 12 of the presentation)
Back to open space: They've made a lot of cuts to adjust to a smaller budget. Part of that is that they've paid off a lot of debt. More reductions are needed; about $2.3M annually, according to staff.
If an open space tax doesn't get passed, the dept revenue from sales/use tax will be about $21.8M Annually.
A .10% sales tax would generate $3.5M/yr
.15% tax = $5.3M/yr
There are several dept with unfunded needs, tho. From the memo: Technology, the library, fire dept., police dept., parks and rec and, of course, transportation.
The most imminent are technology, library, open space and transportation. Everything else is more long-term.
And council needs to keep in mind the county ballot item in 2020 to fund affordable housing goals. Huge need there.
Yates brings up Alpine-Balsam as well, and Long's Garden. Both wishlist items with big price tags.
Why are we seeing all these needs? Kady Doelling says. We have increased demand, aging infrastructure, and policy choices that, while the right thing to do, are expensive. (Living wage, etc.)
Doelling is the exec budget officer, btw.
For 2020, "we feel we're in a better place for ongoing revenues."

Predictions for 2020 vs. 2019:
$3.3M more in sales tax (+2.1%)
$4.1M more in property tax (15%)
Reminder: 2019 general fund budget was $158.2M.

Revenues were $152.6M, and a couple big-spend items: muni ($3.8M) Hogan Pancost ($700K) Alpine Balsam ($1.1M)
Despite the predictions for a larger 2020 budget, "Council and departmental priority needs exceed available General Fund sources for 2020," according to staff presentation.

Brautigam will be making her recommendations Sept. 10
Now for council to decide: Do they want to place a sales tax extension on the ballot? How much should go to open space vs. the general fund?
Brautigam: Long's Gardens "is a cost we can not pay for." So that could be included in the ballot measure, if council wants to.
I think someone is addressing costs for Longs Gardens. Beth Collins. The range would be $5-$10M, she says.
Though they're still actively assessing that. Much depends on the conservation easement, etc. Morzel now discussing a zoning change to bring that cost down.
Carr: The q for council will be do you want to pay more to say it always has to be ag land, or do you want to pay less and risk potential of development?
Redevelopment, rather.

Not entirely sure that was the exact quote. I'll check the video and get it right for the story.
Appraisal of the property will be wrapping up the next couple of weeks, Collins says. Scheduled for an October study session.
Back to a possible tax: Morzel suggests council do a .15% sales tax dedicated to open space. None to the general fund.
Nagle goes back to Longs Gardens. Wants THIS council to make a decision on that; is that possible?

Brautigam: "The answer to that is unsatisfying."
"Council could say that night, we want to do a conservation easement, and I will say, we don't have the money." That convo will take longer than this council. Need a contract and funding in hand by Nov. 5
Back to open space, again!
Yates: How are we going to fund renovation of the Pavilion building at Alpine-Balsam?
Brautigam: We're working on that now. Would take $$ from facilities plan. We'd have to borrow $$. We have a non-tax source to pay it off.
Doelling: It would deplete our general fund budget that we're trying to build up.
Yates: Just wondering if this will be a tax, too.
Brautigam: No, it will be debt. But we have to ask voters still.
Also, Community Culture and Safety tax is going away in 3(?) years, Brautigam reminds council.
Brockett supports an open space tax. "We polled on this; we found over 90% support. But we're also seeing other really large capital needs in our community, some related to health and safety."
Wants to keep the .15% sales tax from expiring, but give .10% to open space and the rest to general fund.
Yates: "We've got a lot of needs here: affordable housing, police and fire, transportation. While open space is great and good, we also have some other responsibilities."
If we do open space tax this year, we may be "hitting our community's tax capacity." So next year, taxes for library, transportation or affordable housing might not pass.
His suggestion: Wait until next year. "If we do this piecemeal, at some point in time we're going to run out of" runway.
Jones: We pushed the affordable housing and library to next year. Transportation, we've talked about a lot. My sense is, we're going to discuss those next year. We know they're coming.
"There's a full plate next year and none of it is a surprise."
Jones: "We need to increase our funding of open space. We know we need to."

Would go with .10% to open space and .05% to the general fund.
Weaver: "I certainly agree with you about the needs on open space. I feel like we have to do something for open space. We're talking about a serious amount of change."
He prefers all .15% go to open space; wouldn't support less than .10% for open space.
Young: "I appreciate the concern for open space. But we just saw this list of all the needs we have. We're getting close to that cap."
"I fear that if we go with open space, the thing we all talk about that we need more of... constantly... this is likely going to sabotage any chance of having an affordable housing tax passed."
Morzel: "We have a responsibility to maintain what we bought" in terms of open space.
The "laundry list" of other needs "comes out every year. This year is the same as last year, is the same as previous years."
Almost like if you keep not paying for something, it stays on the list... weird how that works.
Nagle supports .15% going fully to open space. References the climate emergency. "This is our overarching most important thing is to protect our environment."
Carlisle: Dan (Burke, open space director) talked about how they have been preparing for this. But given the survey (of support for a tax) she wants .10% to go to open space and the rest to general fund. In particular worried about transportation.
Sorry, want to clarify that: the remaining .05% should go to transportation specifically, Carlisle says.
"I worry about money going into the general fund." In looking at wants vs. needs, "I see a lot of wants."

Lots of the issues are bc of growth in the city "and it's going to get worse."
Boulder actually lost population the last two years, but from 2012-2017, grew by 5.35%. Less than BoCo as a whole, and less than any other city except Ned, Lyons and Superior.
Back to the tax ballot measure. There will be public hearing Aug. 20. Staff *might* bring back three options:
.15% sales tax extension, all for open space
.10% to open space, .05% to general fund
.10% to open space, .05% to transportation
Wanted to source my population tweet: Via the census, which I just pulled for a project for the Community Foundation.
Another interesting stat: From 2000-2017, Boulder's population grew by 8.33%. Less than anywhere else in BoCo except Jamestown. And half the rate of Boulder County as a whole.
OK, I'll stop nerding out on data. Back to the council discussion!
We're talking Long's Gardens.
"We might want to have a conversation about Long's Gardens sooner than October," Jones says.
Council will get a confidential memo about the appraisal results in a couple weeks, Sullivan says.

Jones: "We'll let the lawyers figure out what they can tell us publicly."
One thing they haven't discussed: How long might this new open space tax last? Carr will prepare two options: 10 yrs and 20 years. Will be decided through public process.
OK, that's it for the longest study session of all time. Reminder: No council next week. YAY! I'll be at the Outback next Tuesday, celebrating. See you in August!

@threadreaderapp please unroll. Thank you.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Shay Castle
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!