Taxes, Fees & Business Regulations

New regulations were approved by Council  to provide incentives to businesses to increase  their recycling efforts .  The plan is available here. To read more about the Boulder Chamber’s key role on the issue, read  “Boulder Chamber, Eco-Cycle want businesses to ‘take action’ on recycling.”  To learn more about the Take Action for Recycling campaign and to print “action cards,” visit:

2016 SALES TAX RATES The City of Boulder’s 2016 sales tax rates have been posted on the city’s web site.

The Boulder City Council  has an approved 2016 budget  which includes $327 million in total spending,  increased from $319 million in 2015 and 48 new employees. To view the budget, click here.

Where will your 2017 City of Boulder taxes go?
The City of Boulder met in a Study Session to review the $321,834,000 Recommended Budget for 2017. Boulder’s 2017 draft budget , down 1.79% from 2016, calls for adding about 9 full-time equivalent positions to the current staff, numbered at 1,400. The budget also references an 8% increase for Boulder water rates, a 5% increase for wastewater rates and an 8% increase in stormwater rates in 2017.  Interested in Fund Balances vs Reserves?  City Staff recommends an increase reserve to from the current rate of 16% to 20% by 2020. The reserve could be used for Capital projects, revenue stability and to address extreme events or public safety concerns. No action is taken at study sessions, however the budget is scheduled for 1st hearing on Oct. 4; and for 2nd reading on Oct. 18.   To view the Study Session Presentation, click here.  The projected budget is available here.

How much are rates increasing and why? How will the utility rate increases impact my monthly utility bill? A full accounting is available here.
See also how to read your utility bill pdf and
If you  have questions,comments or  concerns please contact and let us know how these increases will impact your business. If you have any questions about impacts to your utility rates or monthly bill, please contact the city’s Utility Billing Office at 303-441-3260 and a customer service representative will assist you.

The Marijuana Advisory Panel (MAP) is scheduled to meet with City Council on August 23.  Convened in response to concerns regarding confusing and conflicting aspects in the Boulder code, the group was convened in January 2016, by Boulder City Manager, Jane Brautigam, with the review of Boulder City Council. The advisory panel was made up of a many organizations representing diverse segments of the community; this included Boulder County Public Health, the University of Colorado, Boulder Valley School District, patient’s advocates, legal/legislative experts, state regulators, business owners, residents and the Boulder Chamber.

The Panel had been charged to review of both the Recreational and Medical Marijuana Business Boulder Revised Codes. While considering the range of issues addressed in the local ordinance, the Panel was always cognizant of community safety and addressed such issues as under age consumption or other social implications.  The Advisory Panel has concluded its series of meetings, all of which were open to the public and allotted time for public comment.  Recommended changes to the ordinance are being presented to City Council in a study session and will have to subsequently go to a public hearing for approval.  Andrea Meneghel, Boulder Chamber Director of Public Affairs, will be one of the Panel’s representatives to engage Council on the recommendations that came from the process. More information can be found at the following resources:,_Amendment_64_(2012)

Appropriate taxes, fees and regulations maintain important public services and infrastructure. We favor levels that carefully balance the community benefits with the cost and associated impacts to taxpaying businesses and individuals clearly delineated without inhibiting innovation. We support ample notice, measurable goals, clear explanations, and adequate input opportunities for affected businesses whenever the City considers new and renewing taxes, fees and regulations.