Keep Castle Rock special
Most who live here agree: Castle Rock is special. It’s safe, it’s scenic – most anything one wants is available here, including a great quality of life.
To help ensure the Town can continue to preserve these qualities residents love about Castle Rock, Town Council is considering placing four questions on this November’s ballot to strengthen the Town’s financial position over the long term.
- New housing construction tax for police and fire
- Parks and recreation sales tax on lodging
- Open space sales and use tax
- Use of all excess revenues solely for police, fire and roads
Shall Castle Rock taxes be increased by $13,900,000 annually in the first full year of such increase, and by whatever additional amounts are raised annually thereafter, for the sole purpose of providing police, fire protection, and emergency medical services from a new housing construction tax imposed and paid upon issuance of a building permit at a rate up to and including $7.00 per square foot of new residential construction; provided that:
(I) commencing January 1, 2023, the maximum rate shall be adjusted for inflation in future years in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood statistical area;
(II) the rate of such tax may be increased or decreased without further voter approval so long as the rate does not exceed $7.00 per square foot as adjusted for inflation; and
(III) all revenues from such tax shall be collected, retained, and spent as a voter-approved revenue change and as an exception to the limits that would otherwise apply under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution or any other applicable law?
YES ____ NO ____
Shall Castle Rock taxes be increased by $650,000 annually in the first full year of such increase, and by whatever additional amounts are raised annually thereafter, from an additional 6.0% sales tax on lodging, to be used solely for parks and recreation purposes, and shall all revenues from such tax be collected, retained and spent as a voter-approved revenue change and as an exception to the limits that would otherwise apply under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution or any other applicable law?
YES ____ NO ____
Shall Castle Rock taxes be increased by $1,870,000 annually in the first full year of such increase, and by whatever additional amounts are raised annually thereafter, from a 0.1% sales and use tax, to be used solely for the purpose of acquiring, developing and maintaining open space and trails, and shall all revenues from such tax be collected, retained, and spent as a voter-approved revenue change and as an exception to the limits that would otherwise apply under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution or any other applicable law?
YES ____ NO ____
Without creating new taxes or raising current taxes and solely to pay for the following:
- Fire protection;
- Emergency medical services;
- Roads and other transportation purposes, including, but not limited to, the Crystal Valley/I-25 interchange,
Shall Castle Rock be authorized:
(I) to retain and spend all Town revenues, including, but not limited to, grants and contributions from other governments for interchanges and other transportation projects, in excess fo the constitutional limitation on Town fiscal year spending for the next ten fiscal years, beginning with the 2021 fiscal year; and
(II) to retain and spend an amount of Town revenues in excess of such limitation for the 2031 fiscal year and thereafter up to an amount equal to the highest total Town revenues for any fiscal year from the 2021 fiscal year through and including the 2030 fiscal year, adjusted each year as provided for by Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution?
YES ____ NO ____
Castle Rock voters have not approved an increase to Town tax rates since 1994. In fact, the Town’s property tax mill levy rate has declined by more than 92% since that time.
Here are the four revenue requests Castle Rock voters could see on this November’s ballot:
New housing construction tax – A tax of up to $7 per square foot on permits for new single- and multi-family homes built in Castle Rock, to use solely to fund 75 additional police and fire positions over the next five years, along with related equipment, training and operational needs.
Lodging tax – A 6% tax on overnight stays of less than 30 days in Town, to use solely to bolster the Town’s parks and recreation services, including park maintenance.
0.1% sales tax increase – An additional tax of one penny on every $10 taxable purchase to use solely for open space and trails purposes, including for acquiring more open space.
10-year TABOR timeout – Without raising taxes, temporarily lifting restrictions on Town revenues to use solely for police, fire, EMS and transportation purposes – including to construct a new interchange at Interstate 25 and Crystal Valley Parkway. The Town cannot complete the interchange without this exemption, which 21 of Colorado’s 25 largest cities have in place.
Unless a resident builds a brand new home or stays in a local hotel or short-term rental property, only the proposed sales tax increase would apply to residents’ purchases. The proposed revenue sources help ensure those moving into or visiting the community are paying their fair share for Town services.
These alternatives are being considered now to help ensure the Town can:
- continue providing outstanding emergency medical, fire and police services
- maintain the Town’s award-winning open space, parks and trails systems
- enhance the Town’s roadway network – including through construction of a new interchange at Interstate 25 and Crystal Valley Parkway
Share what you think about the proposals – fill out an online form!
- Why is more funding needed for Police if the department is already doing great?
- How do CRPD’s staffing levels compare to police departments in neighboring communities?
- Is a new fire station planned in Castle Rock?
- CRPD has requested 34 more staff and CRFD 41, for 75 positions total. The new housing tax is estimated to generate $13.9 million annually. Does that mean these employees would each be paid $185,000?
- Doesn’t growth – new homes and new commercial developments, like the Promenade – generate enough sales tax to pay for the firefighters and police officers the Town needs?
- Does the Town spend all the revenue it brings in each year? If not, why can’t prior years’ savings be used to fund the needed fire and police positions?
- How does the Town’s proposed lodging tax of 6% compare to lodging taxes in neighboring communities?
- What’s the sales tax increase being proposed?
- How does the Town’s sales tax compare to that of neighboring communities?
- Would a sales tax increase disadvantage Castle Rock businesses by driving people to instead make online purchases?
- Why are more funds needed for parks, open spaces and trails? Doesn’t growth pay for that?
- What is TABOR?
- Why is the Town requesting a 10-year “TABOR timeout?”
- When did the Town of Castle Rock last increase its tax rates?
- My home’s value has increased, and I’m expecting a big increase to my property tax bill. Won’t the Town get some of that money to help meet its needs?
- I understand the Town receives a nominal portion of my property tax, but I think I pay enough in taxes overall. If the Town needs more revenue, can’t it negotiate with other local tax recipients for s
- Has the Town worked to cut its costs prior to requesting additional revenues?
- Why did the Town give business grants during 2020 if it has financial needs?
In March, Town staff presented Town Council an analysis of alternative revenue options. Also at that time, Council heard from the Fire and Police departments about their staffing and other needs over the next five years, given the Town’s expected growth. Details of those needs are in the infographic on this page.
Discussions continued, and the Town in June 2021 sought public feedback on some of the alternatives that were evaluated. A voter opinion poll explored the community’s thoughts about potential tax questions Town Council could place on the November 2021 ballot.
Council received and began discussions on the results of the poll during a June 15 study session. Council continued its discussion of this issue in July and may decide to ask voters for permission to initiate new revenue streams or increase existing ones as part of this fall’s election.
The second page of the infographic explains the potential revenues being explored for open space, trails parks and recreation needs and a "TABOR time-out" that could help with funding the interchange and other needs.