Steamboat Springs Colorado Mountain College will ask voters to relieve it from the Taxpayers Bill of Rights Amendment so that it can improve its use of technology in course offerings and hardware.
"I support this because the college needs to keep up with technology and this will give them additional funds to improve course offerings, staff and technical capabilities," CMC Trustee for Routt County Rob Dick said.
The CMC Board of Trustees voted on June 1 to place the question on the Nov. 7 general election ballot in the seven counties where there are CMC campuses.
Commonly called "de-Brucing" after Douglas Bruce who penned the amendment, it will allow all the CMC colleges to keep excess tax revenues, which will initially amount to about $4 million for all the campuses, according to Alpine Campus Dean Robert Ritschel. He said that amount will ultimately increase to about $12 million.
CMC has campuses in Aspen, Rifle, Roaring Fork, Summit County, Vail and Eagle Valley, and Leadville. College representatives held community meetings in those areas this spring to gauge public support for the ballot question.
The college has a preliminary wish list, and technology is at the top, Ritschel said. Dick said that enhancing technology, whether in courses or hardware, will benefit the whole community because it can take advantage of a resource that will help it in business, school or career.
Other priorities on the list include cost-of-living assistance to attract and keep quality educators; a multi-campus blueprint to improve academic achievement and student success; continued revitalization and construction of college facilities; and a 15 percent reserve to sustain the college through an economic downturn or loss of state funding.
What relief from TABOR would mean to the community is that it would not receive a yearly $8.50 refund per $100,000 of property; instead the refund would go to the college. The college has a budget of about $28 million.
Hundreds of school districts, libraries and cities, including the Steamboat Springs and Hayden school districts, Routt County, several county fire districts and the East Routt Library District, have all successfully asked voters for relief from TABOR.
Ritschel said response from Routt County has been very supportive so far. He said the college will put out more definitive information about the ballot issue when the campaign gears up in August.
To reach Jennifer Bartlett call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org