Hayden voters consider de-Brucing

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Election 2006

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Referendum 5A

Without imposing any new taxes and without increasing its property tax mill levy, shall the West Routt Library District, as a voter approved revenue change, be authorized to accept, collect, retain, or expend all revenues received from all sources from the fiscal year 2005 and each subsequent year, not withstanding any limitations or restrictions that would apply under article x, section 20 of the Colorado constitution ('TABOR'), section 29-1-301, Colorado Revised Statutes (5.5% limit), or any other law?

Hayden Librarian Ana Lash's first run-in with the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, or TABOR, came shortly after moving from Arizona to start her new job in Hayden in 2004.

She applied for a grant not knowing there are restrictions on how much money the West Routt Library District could take in.

She was awarded the grant, and luckily, she said, it was a small enough amount that the district was able to keep it and use the money for a reading program geared toward kids.

"That's how I learned about the fact that we couldn't go after grants," Lash said.

On Nov. 7, voters in the West Routt Library District will decide whether the library district can "de-Bruce," or remove the revenue limits set forth in TABOR. Referendum 5A is not a tax, but by de-Brucing, the library will be able to collect funds that exceed the limitations in place because of TABOR. TABOR limits a government agency's public revenues to the amount the agency received the year before plus an adjustment for inflation and population growth.

Not being able to apply for grants can be a major disadvantage, Lash said.

"Libraries are really always looking for grants especially for children's programs," Lash said. "I think we can provide better service using the money for our patrons."

Grant money also could be used to buy computers, such as the five new ones the library recently purchased for patrons.

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