November Ballot - 2B TABOR Retention
WITHOUT IMPOSING ANY NEW TAX OR INCREASING THE RATE OF ANY EXISTING TAX, SHALL THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS BE PERMITTED TO RETAIN AND SPEND UP TO $7,000,000, THE ESTIMATED 2018 FISCAL YEAR REVENUE ABOVE THE 2018 Fiscal year REVENUE AND SPENDING LIMITATIONS, SOLELY FOR THE FOLLOWING PARKS, SPORTS AND CULTURAL FACILITIES AND TRAIL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS LOCATED WITHIN THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS:
- REPAIR, RESTORATION AND IMPROVEMENTS TO ACACIA, ANTLERS, MONUMENT VALLEY, PALMER AND PANORAMA PARKS
- REPAIR, RESTORATION AND IMPROVEMENTS TO ALAMO SQUARE/PIONEERS MUSEUM
- REPAIR, RESTORATION AND IMPROVEMENTS TO COTTONWOOD CREEK BASEBALL FIELDS, LEON YOUNG SPORTS COMPLEX, BOULDER PARK SPORTS COURTS AND THORNDALE PARK SPORTS COURTS
- TRAIL IMPROVEMENTS TO HOMESTEAD, MESA, SANDCREEK AND LEGACY LOOP TRAILS
- REPAIR AND REPAVING OF EVERGREEN AND FAIRVIEW CEMETERY PARKING AREAS
- PREPARATION OF COMMUNITY PARK MASTER PLAN FOR COLEMAN PARK, AS A VOTER APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE AND EXCEPTION TO ANY CONSTITUTIONAL, CHARTER, OR CITY ORDINANCE OR CODE LIMITATIONS THAT MAY OTHERWISE APPLY?
Why is TABOR Retention a good idea?
Reasons to Vote YES
- TABOR is not a tax increase. It is surplus revenue that has already been collected.
- The money can ONLY be spent on these specific trail, parks and open space projects.
- Healthy parks, trails and open spaces contribute to a healthy economy.
- Projects are spread throughout the County so there is something for everyone.
- TABOR funds will be used to care for existing parks and trails; it does not add trails or require that future money be spent.
#7 Panorama Park – Master Plan Implementation
Arguably, one of the city’s most exciting park projects is Panorama Park. The 13.5-acre park is located along Fenton Road near S. Chelton Rd, adjacent to Panorama Middle School. The southeastern community has re-envisioned the park and created an awe-inspiring Master Plan including: an adventure trail, a new playground, multi-use ball courts, sports fields, all ages fitness area, a water spray feature, a community gathering space and more.
Total project cost is estimated to be $5-7 million, TABOR retention will contribute $500,000. This will be the largest park renovation in city history! When completed the park will become a great neighborhood asset in an under-served part of Colorado Springs.
#8 Trail Improvements – Homestead, Legacy Loop, Mesa and Sand Creek – $1,000,000
Trail repair funding could use 10X this amount, but this will certainly help. Segments of old crumbling asphalt trails will be replaced as a result of this funding in all corners of the city
#9 Cemetery Parking Lots, Evergreen and Fairview – $45,000
This is a case where relatively few dollars will go a long way. These two historic cemeteries fall under the “parks umbrella.” The dollars will increase safety and improve the experience for residents and visitors.
#10 Norman Bulldog Coleman, Community Park Master Plan – $242,000
Dollars will allow the community to plan a 53 acre city owned site that could potentially grow in size pending a land exchange. This is an under-served part of our community when it comes to parks, trails and open spaces.
2019 TABOR Retention Project Proposals
Project #1: Historic Parks – Antlers, Acacia and Alamo Square/Pioneers Museum
All three sites are currently going through a re-master planning process. $2 million will be used to improve lighting, ADA improvements, new pedestrian areas and connections, potential dog park amenities, community gathering spaces and exhibit expansion.
Learn more about DOWNTOWN HISTORIC PARKS MASTER PLAN.
Project #2 Monument Valley Park – Lighting, Irrigation, Pavilion and Ponds
Two pond restorations, sports lighting for pickle-ball courts, irrigation and tree replacements and restoration of a historic pavilion are all on the list of projects to be funded. If the TABOR Excess Revenue initiative wins, $1 million will be spent in Monument Valley Park.
The land for Monument Valley Park was donated by General William Palmer – one of his many generous parkland donations that transformed our community. Improving Monument Valley Park as we approach our city’s 150 birthday seems an appropriate tribute to General Palmer and a gift to ourselves.
Learn more about this amazing community park and find out how you can make it better by connecting with the Friends of Monument Valley Park.
Project #3 Palmer Park- Signage
If the TABOR Excess Revenue ballot measure passes, $200,000 will be used to replace signs and improve wayfinding in Palmer Park.
Palmer Park was one of our earliest parks, opened in 1902 as a gift from General Palmer to the residents of Colorado Springs. It remains an inspiration point for city residents with magnificent views of the region. With 740 acres and 25 miles of trails, residents and visitors do get confused. Better signs will improve the experience for users in this popular regional park.
Guardians of Palmer Park lead volunteer projects to improve the park on a regular basis. To learn more: www.gopalmerpark.org
Project #4 Cottonwood Creek Park – Artificial Fields
Playing fields continue to be in high demand – especially in northern neighborhoods.
Cottonwood Creek Community Park is extremely popular; if you have visited on a weekend you know how well used this park is.
If passed, the TABOR refund would be used to convert three baseball fields from grass to artificial turf, saving water and reducing maintenance costs. Total project cost is $1.6 million.
Improving the fields will provide a consistent playing surface and increase the playing time available for athletic programs serving teams in the northern and eastern portions of our city.
#5 Leon Young Sports Complex Parking Lot
Okay, replacing parking lots is not exciting or sexy. Fact is, we need parking lots to be safe for people of all ages and abilities and safe for vehicles. The Leon Young parking lot is one of the worst in our system. It’s also heavily used by athletic teams in the region. Families use the parking lots to deliver young players and stay to watch healthy competition. This parking lot is riddled with cracks and holes and needs to be replaced. TABOR will provide $213,000 to repair the parking lot.
#6 Thorndale and Boulder Parks – Sport Courts Replacement
The city has a total of 42 tennis and basketball courts that need to be replaced. If 2B passes, $400,000 will be used to restore four tennis courts in Boulder and Thorndale Parks. The friends of Boulder Park and local residents are working with Parks staff to make changes and improvements to the neighborhood park.
“The Economic Benefits of Parks in Colorado Springs” released in 2017 showed how parks benefit our community financially. Houses and apartments are worth more if they are located near parks and trails. But when playing courts are cracked and unsafe and in some cases even padlocked – parks are unlikely to increase property values. If 2B passes, Boulder and Thorndale parks will improve as neighborhood assets.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Tabor stands for the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. It requires a vote of the people for any proposed tax. It also creates a cap on the amount of tax a city, county or state can collect. If the cap is exceeded due to an improving economy, the excess must be refunded to residents unless voters decide otherwise.
If you vote “yes”, $7 million will go directly to city parks to address 10 specific critical needs. This is “one time” money that will only be used for parks department related projects.
We are approaching our 150th birthday as a city – our sesquicentennial. Our city’s Founder, General William Palmer “envisioned a grand and gracious park system ringing the community.”1. He donated land accordingly. Acacia, Antlers and Alamo were some of our earliest parks. Monument Valley Park and Palmer Park were gifts from the General to the people of Colorado Springs. The land that eventually became Boulder Park was also owned by General Palmer. Many of the projects have a connection to our Founder. What better way to carry on his legacy than to improve upon his dream and restore these parks to their former glory? Other projects were selected based on the park system master plan and key projects located throughout our community.
No, you will receive a credit on a future utility bill.
The 10 projects will require a variety of planning, public input, construction and a competitive bidding process for completion. City Parks Staff already have 2020 projects they are committed to completing and if approved by voters they will incorporate these projects into their work plan.
All registered voters living in the city of Colorado Springs are encouraged to take part in the November election.
No. The State’s TABOR question (Proposition CC) asks voters if the State can keep excess revenue for transportation and education purposes. 2B only applies to Colorado Springs residents and provides dollars for parks and trails.
The Parks Department took a huge hit back in 2010 during the recession when General Fund Support was reduced from nearly 20 million to 3 million. General Fund support has not returned to pre-recession levels, yet costs to maintain parks and trail have increased. The list of Parks Capital needs/projects grows each year – well over $150 million. It makes sense to invest in our parks when we have the dollars available.