The Littleton City Council will decide this summer whether to ask voters to retain $1.9 million in TABOR surplus or whether the money should be refunded. Article X of the Colorado Constitution, more commonly known as TABOR, imposes revenue restrictions on state and local governments. A provision within TABOR allows voter to remove these restrictions, either temporarily or permanently, which is commonly known as ‘de-brucing.’
This is the first time in a decade the city’s revenues have exceed the TABOR limit. Various factors contributed to the surplus including strong sales tax growth, impact fees and building use taxes.
In 2006, the city had TABOR excess of $1,119,484. The city council issued refunds to registered voters and property owners within the city in the amounts of $20 and $41.49 respectively. In all other TABOR excess years, 1994, 1995, 1998-2004, and 2007, council asked voters to approve TABOR excess revenues be used to fund capital improvements. A majority of Littleton voters supported the question each year. A permanent de-brucing was rejected by voters in 2006.
Projects previously funded by voter approval include: significant safety improvements to South Santa Fe Drive in cooperation with CDOT, the pedestrian underpass at the Highline Canal and County Line Road, purchase of open space, mini parks and other recreation projects; Ketring Lake improvements, street improvements, upgrades to Fire Station #11, installation of a fire suppression system at Bemis Library, school zone signage conversion to fiber optics, improvements to the fire training burn building, partial funding of fleet building improvements, and museum expansion.
City council will consider several resolutions in August related to the TABOR surplus. Check the city’s website for updated information.