The Boulder Chamber has announced its positions on the 2017 ballot measures. In summarizing the Chamber’s stances on the numerous measures citizens will be voting on this year, President and CEO John Tayer stated, “With a Boulder Chamber membership that reflects the diversity of opinions across our community, you can be sure there was significant debate on all the ballot measures we considered. Ultimately, though, our positions reflect the Boulder Chamber’s consistent appreciation for prudent investments in the infrastructure and programs that strengthen our community. At the same time, we take a strong stand for accountability in the expenditure of tax-generated resources, which is reflected in our positions on the municipalization effort and the Cultural & Community Safety Tax.”
The full list of positions taken by the Boulder Chamber on the 2017 Ballot Issues is included in the following table. For a full summary, please click here.
Speaking in support of Boulder County Ballot Issue 1A, Tayer notes, “The Boulder Chamber strongly supports continuing the ‘Worthy Cause’ tax as it has contributed to strengthening Boulder County’s human services safety net for the past 17 years and has facilitated greater investment in a range of services that support our workforce and their families.” The Worthy Cause tax has been critically important in helping to meet our county’s human service needs and most importantly, it allows non-profits to refocus resources that would otherwise go to capital expenditures and debt payments toward direct services to their clients. The Boulder Chamber also appreciates that the Worthy Cause tax reflects community values, having received strong support from voters three times since 2000.
The Boulder Chamber supports this tax extension which will benefit a broad cross section through projects that address infrastructure deficiencies and quality of life needs. Passing the tax and the associated bond measure will allow the City of Boulder to deliver the specified projects quicker and more immediately meet community needs. However, in supporting the tax initiative, the Boulder Chamber provides guidance on administrative steps it believes the City of Boulder should take in order to ensure appropriate oversight of the tax revenue allocation and to meet future capital obligations. Specifically, Tayer says “We strongly believe in oversight of the tax revenue allocation through a citizen committee. Further, we believe future City of Boulder budgets should set-aside greater capital resources in order to avoid dependence on voter-approved tax measures to fund critical infrastructure needs.”
The Boulder Chamber is fully committed to pursuing solutions to achieve Boulder’s carbon reduction goals and increase renewable energy use. However, to date, the municipalization effort has failed to achieve expected milestones and the results of the Public Utilities Commission hearings have indicated significant uncertainty about its future success. This uncertainty has been compounded by time and cost estimates that are continually exceeding all projections. The Boulder Chamber also believes there are other more effective and promising avenues for achieving climate and energy goals, including the promising strides Xcel is making in these areas. For all of these reasons, the Boulder Chamber believes it’s time for our community to consider an alternative path.
For more on the Boulder Chamber’s perspective regarding this issue, please see President and CEO John Tayer’s recent Daily Camera Op-Ed, “Time to Change Course on Muni”, co-authored with former Boulder Mayor and Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor and Beth Hartman, a former Board Member for the Association of Energy Services Professionals.
All Boulder Chamber ballot issue positions are based on review and recommendations by the Boulder Chamber’s Community Affairs Council with further review and final adoption by the Boulder Chamber Board of Directors.