Here are the county’s issues in the upcoming election on Nov. 7.
On the lefthand side of the ballot, there is voting for district directors and board members. Then the different issues are listed starting on the first page on the right side.
Mesa County Issue 1A concerns the public safety sales tax. On Facebook and other public sites, this is known as “Back the Badge.” This will increase sales tax by $0.37 on 100 dollars, which means the sales tax will be raised 0.37 percent.
This sales tax will not be added to gas, prescriptions or groceries. According to the Back the Badge site for 1A, the sales tax will help all of the public safety agencies in Mesa County. If passed, this tax raise will begin in January 2018.
The money will go towards hiring, employing, training and equipping public safety personnel. 67.29 percent of the total revenue of the public safety sales tax will be given to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office while 16.83 percent will go to the Twenty-First Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
The sales tax will increase the funds for the police, firefighters, and investigators.
Town of De Beque will vote on issue 2A, which involves a tax increase of 5 percent on all medical marijuana purchases. This issue is controversial is because some believe that medical marijuana is used similarly to prescription medication. Antibiotics and prescriptions are not to be taxed.
Then, there are Mesa County School District 51 issues 3A and 3B. Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster voiced his support for 3A. Supporters are using the hashtag “ItStartswithKids” on Facebook and other social mediums to promote 3A and 3B.
3A is an increase in taxes through a mill-levy. The money would go toward instructional resources, up-to-date technology, providing maintenance and adding five more instructional days to the school calendar.
3B is a bond that focuses more on the maintenance needs of schools in the district. The district has already set which schools will get what maintenance and that information can be found on their Facebook page.
4A is an issue regarding the Grand River Hospital District. This district includes the Grand River Hospital and Medical Center, Grand River Medical Clinics in Rifle, Grand River Health Clinic West, Family health, Specialty Services, Occupational Health and Therapy Services to Battlement Mesa, E. Dene Moore Care Center in Rifle and the Grand River Student Health Center in Parachute and Rifle.
Those who don’t live in this district do not have to worry about this issue on the ballot, but it follows along with the previous 3B issue. The issue supports local healthcare and they need money for construction and other needs, such as more beds and more equipment to serve cancer patients and others. It follows the same rules listed as 3B.
Clifton fire protection district has issue 5A. This fire department is asking for money due to equipment aging and their funds being stretched. This would also allow them to hire more people since according to their Facebook page and interview with KKCO News, they have limited crew with more calls.
This would be a property tax increase. Like issue 3A, it is a mill-levy. This would increase property tax by $10.47 a month for Clifton residents.
The next issue is in regard to mosquitos in the De Beque area. 5B is the Roan Creek Metropolitan District issue. They are asking money for “mosquito abatement.” There were some reported West Nile Viruses in De Beque back in 2007.
This certain district was formed recently for the sole purpose to deal with mosquitos. They do not have much funding and are asking for an Ad Valorem (according to value) property tax levy that will not exceed 3.00 mills.
5C is regarding the Mesa water and sanitation. This is another Ad Valorem property tax that cannot exceed 8.000 mills. This would provide domestic water and sanitary sewer services.
5D is last on the ballot regarding the Grand Mesa Metropolitan District. This would not increase taxes or add a new tax but will raise the debt of this district. They are wanting to repair the district wastewater treatment plant.
This money would be loaned from the Colorado Water Resource and Power Development. They need to meet the state-mandated requirements of the district’s wastewater treatment. These funds would help accomplish that.