Adams County Questions 1A and 1B ask for continued sales taxes to benefit roads, open space

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The Elaine Valente Open Space Lake in Adams County. PHOTO BY DAVE PERRY/Sentinel Colorado

AURORA | Adams County voters this November will decide whether to indefinitely continue paying a pair of sales taxes to benefit open space and roads.

Volleyed to the ballot via a unanimous resolution of the Adams County Board of Commissioners last month, issues 1A and 1B ask residents to continue paying a current open space sales tax of .0025% on every dollar spent and a current tales tax for roads of .005%.

The open space tax has been in place in various forms since 1999. Voters agreed to increase that tax from 1/5 of one percent to 1/4 of one percent in 2004. The Adams County electorate first approved the transportation and infrastructure tax two years later.

The current proposal heading to the polls this year could result in the taxes “permanently extended,” according to the language on the county’s sample ballot.

If voters reject the measure, the open space tax could sunset in 2026, and the road and bridge tax could expire in 2028, a spokesperson for Adams County confirmed.

Monies generated by the open space tax are specifically dog-eared to preserve land that protects water quality, protect wildlife areas and wetlands, preserve farmland and carve out open space amid urban expansion.

For the infrastructure tax, 40% of the funds go to road and bridge projects in the county, and 60% go to maintaining, operating and expanding county current county facilities.

Bo Martinez, President and CEO of the Adams County Regional Economic Partnership, said the measures will help accommodate the county’s rapid expansion. Adams County, which covers the portions of Aurora north of East Colfax Avenue, is expected to surpass the population of Denver County within the next three decades, according to Adams county projections.

“In recent years, Adams County has been among the top counties in the United States in terms of job growth,” Martinez said in a statement. “Along with that growth comes a need to plan for the future. By extending these existing programs — without an increase in taxes — 1A and 1B give Adams County stability to keep the whole region heading in the right direction.”

An issue committee designed to advocate for the proposal was registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office on Sept. 16, records show. The group, 2020 Vision for Adams County, has yet to file any campaign finance reports.

There are no groups registered to oppose the campaign in Adams County.