Tax ballot process ‘tricky’ | SteamboatToday.com

Tax ballot process ‘tricky’

Downtown residents must request mail-in form by Oct. 20

Alexis DeLaCruz

Denise Fasolino wanders past shops on Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday afternoon. Property owners and tenants living in the Downtown Steamboat Springs Business Improvement District must request a mail-in ballot by Oct. 20 to vote on a proposed tax that would raise money for downtown advocacy and improvement issues.

— Property owners and tenants living in the Downtown Steamboat Springs Business Improvement District must request a mail-in ballot by Oct. 20 to vote on a proposed tax that would raise money for downtown advocacy and improvement issues.

Mary Carter, a Denver paralegal hired as the district’s election official, said Wednesday that only downtown property owners or tenants within the district’s boundaries are eligible to vote. The district’s boundaries span from Second to 13th streets between Yampa and Oak streets.

The district was formed in June. If voters approve the proposed mill levy through the mail-in ballot, the resulting tax would generate about $120,000 a year to fund marketing, advocacy and parking management efforts downtown, in addition to potential beautification projects.

Downtown property owners operating under an entity’s name, tenants who lease downtown property under their own name, and tenants who lease under an entity’s name all must request a ballot. Property owners who own their property under their own name and are registered Colorado voters do not need to request a ballot, Carter said.

“Those people won’t need to do anything. You’ll automatically receive a ballot,” she said.

Everyone else needs to designate an elector by requesting and filling out appropriate paperwork, she said.

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While Carter must receive a hard copy of the paperwork to request a ballot, the hard copy is not needed on Oct. 20, as long as it is on the way to Denver by that date, and Carter has received a copy of the request via e-mail or fax by that date.

Ballots will be mailed from Oct. 12 to 22, she said. Ballots with completed votes must be received by 6 p.m. Nov. 7.

Voters also have the option to vote in person, but that will require a drive to Denver, Carter said.

Downtown property owner Jan Kaminski said he was “shocked” to find how involved the process was to get his ballot, and he encouraged his fellow downtown property owners and tenants to start now.

“I was surprised how difficult it was because I’ve never been in a special improvement district,” he said Wednesday. “Everyone expects to get a ballot, but they won’t get one unless you request one.”

Kaminski said he takes voting seriously and wasn’t put off by the process.

“I always vote,” he said. “Exercising your right to vote is what it’s all about.”

The last day to register to vote in Routt County’s regular, coordinated election – which is separate from the mail-in process for the downtown business district – is Tuesday.

-To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

Requesting the ballot

Downtown property owners and tenants interested in voting on a proposed 2.5-mill levy to fund a Downtown Steamboat Springs Business Improvement District must request a mail-in ballot by Oct. 20. The forms required to request a ballot can be obtained by contacting Mary Carter, designated election official, at 303-839-3800 or mcarter@grimshawh…. Requests for ballots may be e-mailed to Carter or faxed to 303-839-3838. Walk-in voting is permitted, but voters would have to drive to Denver.