Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Steamboat Springs Councilwoman Arianthe Stettner and former City Council President Kevin Bennett debated Referendum 2A, which proposes a 3.55-mill property tax to fund basic city services such as fire protection and ambulance services.
The tax will generate about $1.3 million a year to be dedicated to fire and emergency services and capital improvements, Stettner said. The tax will produce reliable funding for these services and insulate them from unreliable sales tax revenues, she said. The tax revenue also will fund capital improvements for the city that residents supported in a 2002 community survey.
Bennett said the language of the referendum allows the City Council to spend the revenue however it pleases. Only a small portion of the tax goes to fire services, he said. If the community believes increased fire and emergency services are important than the referendum needs to dedicate more funding to those services, he said.