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?

Growth helps pay for growth, but it doesn’t generate sufficient sales tax revenue to fund the Town’s fire and police needs. Looking back a decade, in 2011, the Town collected $19.5 million in sales tax revenue into its General Fund, where fire and police expenses are budgeted. 2017 was the first full year major stores in the Promenade were open. That year, the Town collected $30.7 million in sales tax into its General Fund, so that development substantially increased the Town’s capacity to fund general service needs. But, the revenue trajectory has declined, with $37.6 million in sales tax revenue collected into the General Fund in 2020.

To fund fire and police needs over the next five years and beyond, the Town needs $76-$80 million in revenue annually into the General Fund. Sales tax currently accounts for 65% of the fund’s revenue, so $49-$52 million in sales tax would be needed. Budget projections include 8% growth in 2021, 4.5% in 2022 and 3% in each year from 2023-2026. That would mean sales tax revenues of $42-$46 million – less than the $49-$52 million needed. The new housing construction tax would be used by the Town to meet fire police needs, as well as other general service needs, over the next five years and beyond.

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1. How do CRPD’s staffing levels compare to police departments in neighboring communities?
2. Is a new fire station planned in Castle Rock?
3. How much would the new housing construction tax add to the cost of the average home in Castle Rock?
4. How do recent home sales prices in Castle Rock compare to that of other Front Range communities?
5. 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?
6. 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?
7. Why is the Town requesting a 10-year “TABOR timeout?”
8. What would the effective date be for the ballot measures if they are passed?
9. Has the Town worked to cut its costs prior to requesting additional revenues?
10. 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?
11. How does the Town’s sales tax compare to that of neighboring communities?
12. I understand the Town receives a nominal portion of my property tax, but I think I pay enough overall. If the Town needs more revenue, can’t it negotiate with other local tax recipients for some?
13. Don't the police and fire departments benefit from the impact fees the Town charges on every new house built?
14. Would a sales tax increase disadvantage Castle Rock businesses by driving people to instead make online purchases?
15. Can the Town use the $5.7 million it has received in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to address the needs proposed for funding by the ballot items?
16. 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?
17. Why did the Town give business grants during 2020 if it has financial needs?
18. I heard the Town can’t ask for a 10-year TABOR timeout – that five years is the maximum timeout allowed. Is that true?