2022 Ballot Issue Positions

EYE on the ballot 2018

2022 Ballot Issue Positions

2022 Ballot Issue Positions  

The Boulder Chamber is beginning to formulate its positions on the upcoming 2022 ballot measures. In particular, knowing there will be several tax increase initiatives coming before Boulder County voters this fall, the Boulder Chamber has carefully considered the issues through multiple lenses with the assistance of our Community Affairs Council and ultimate guidance from our Board of Directors. Below are some of the recent positions the Boulder Chamber will be taking on ballot initiatives this fall:  

The Boulder Chamber and Boulder Transportation Connections Support the Boulder County Sales Tax Extension for Transportation 

As the Boulder Chamber has emphasized through its Boulder Together program, improved regional mobility is critical to retaining and attracting a strong workforce for Boulder businesses.  In keeping with that interest, the Boulder Chamber and Boulder Transportation Connections has been a strong advocate for investment in our transportation infrastructure and programs. We were pleased, therefore, to see that this message is resonating with voters, who signaled support for an extension of Boulder County’s dedicated transportation tax of .1%, which currently sunsets in 2024. This funding is critical to securing matching federal funding that will be used to improve our roadways, public transit, and multi-use paths. Our needs in the transportation arena are great, though, and far exceed the revenue that a 0.1% tax extension will generate. For that reason, the Boulder Chamber Community Affairs Council and Board of Directors both strongly support the sales tax extension, but also urge the Boulder County Commissioners to work with us to identify additional mobility investment resources.

To learn more about the Boulder County sales tax for transportation, read here: Bikeway improvements, connectivity top Boulder priorities for county transportation tax (dailycamera.com).

To read the Boulder Chamber letter of support for transportation funding read here: Chamber County Transportation Funding Proposal_SUPPORT 

 

Boulder Chamber Speaks-Out on RTD’s System Optimization Plan 

The Boulder Chamber and its transportation management organization, Boulder Transportation Connections, offered a mixed perspective on RTD’s system optimization plan (SOP), the long-term plan for funding regional transit service. While we support the ongoing efforts of RTD to re-establish bus routes for Boulder County residents and businesses, we emphasized the need for RTD to reopen the Depot Square Station and return much needed transit services to the Boulder Junction area. The Boulder Chamber will continue its advocacy for a return to pre-pandemic RTD service levels, recognizing that transit isn’t a viable option without service that covers our major employment zones.

To view the Boulder Chamber letter of support for RTD’s System Optimization Plan read here: RTD SOP Comment Letter_July 2022_Chamber_BTC_County_City_CS 

 

The Boulder Chamber Supports the BVSD Mill Levy Override 

The Boulder Chamber urges support for the Boulder Valley School District Mill Levy Override. There are a few specific reasons for this position, but the underlying rationale is the Boulder Chamber’s general recognition of the need to increase workforce and higher education preparedness for the youth of Boulder County. As to specifics, it’s clear there is a vital need to invest in our education facilities. Many current structures, which haven’t seen significant investment in over 40 years, are not adequate to meet today’s education standards and, in many cases, are in a significant state of disrepair. 

Read more about the proposed BVSD mill levy override here: Boulder Valley School District moving forward with mill levy override – Boulder Daily Camera 

The mill levy override will facilitate implementation of an exciting new BVSD program Grad+.  Boulder Chamber and Boulder Economic Council has been working hand in glove with BVSD on Grad+ to ensure equitable access for work-based learning activities for the jobs of today.  As the future of work changes, Grad+ helps prepare students for the skills and confidence to keep learning and remain flexible throughout their careers, whether they go straight into the workforce or go into higher education after graduation.  The program offers an expansion of equitable work-based learning opportunities, career and technical education programming and industry certifications, biliteracy demonstrations, and college credit through concurrent enrollment and / or AP coursework.  The Boulder Chamber, through Boulder Together and its workforce development programming, has been involved in BVSD’s strategic planning process to develop Grad+ by providing program support and industry participation in planning for the workforce of the future and career-ready skills.   

 

The Boulder Chamber Opposes the Library District 

After much deliberation and consultation with community members, chamber members and our Boulder Chamber Board of Directors, the Boulder Chamber firmly decided against the Library District with the concerns of silo of governance and timing of this tax that would disproportionately tax businesses, straining economic stability. The opposition to the Library District does not reflect that the Chamber dislikes libraries but would rather see its funding not impact Boulder businesses and residents at this time. 

While the Boulder Chamber supports increased funding for our libraries, we cannot support the proposed mill levy increase of 3.5 mills (equal to a $400 average increase for homeowners with a $1 million home and 4 times that for businesses) to fund a new library district. We’ve heard a significant outcry from businesses, large and small, that the proposed tax increase comes at the worst possible time, when they are still dealing with reduced patronage, higher costs for labor, equipment, and materials, and reduced customer traffic. Further, a property tax increase of this magnitude presents a significant equity issue, because it will hit our small businesses the hardest. Due to triple net leases, the added property tax costs will be shouldered by commercial tenants, not their landlords.” 

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