This November, Boulder residents will have the chance to vote on several different ballot measures. Measure 2A proposes a $9 million annual sales tax increase to fund various projects throughout Boulder, including increased lighting on the Hill and improvements to the Museum of Boulder and Chautauqua Park. If the measure passes next month, the tax will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
2A was proposed by the city council to foster better community ties by expanding the Boulder civic area. The area, bounded by Canyon Blvd., Arapahoe Ave., 9 St. and 13 St., contains the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, the farmer’s market and the public library. Under 2A, this area will undergo new and improved recreation amenities, enlarged community spaces, improvements to access and connection points and improved safety through increased lighting.
Additionally, if the measure passes, $4 million in funding will be allocated toward the construction and capital improvement of the Museum of Boulder, with another $4 million going to improving The Dairy Center of the Arts.
Along with these artistic restorations, Boulder aims to increase safety for students and community members in Boulder County by increasing lighting on the University Hill residential area and along the Boulder Creek Path.
In a survey conducted by CU’s student government during the 2013-2014 school year, pedestrians reported feeling extremely unsafe walking around The Hill, unable to see objects or people.
“It’s great to see that there’s a plan for more lighting on The Hill. It could really use it,” said Azabe Kassa, a senior majoring in anthropology. “I lived on the Hill for 2 years and once sprained my ankle because I wasn’t able to see a pothole in the dark, so I don’t think 3 cents is asking too much to prevent that.”
If the ballot measure passes this November, there will be a temporary 3-year sales and usage tax increase between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2017. The tax increase will amount to 3 cents on a $10 purchase. The Boulder Finance Director estimates the total annual tax increase for a median income household in Boulder to be approximately $53.
“The benefits that come from the temporary tax increase are large and permanent for just a small and short term investment,” Bob Yates, chairman of the Museum of Boulder, said. “The ballot measure is not a political measure, it’s improvement for the community, from whom it has received a positive response and garnered many supporters and endorsers, including CU Student Government.”
In a diagram released by the City of Boulder, a map of University Hill shows the proposed lighting improvements for the highest density residential areas and the connecting corridors.
“I like the partnership between CU and greater Boulder,” Natalia Marroquin, a junior environmental design major, said. “As long as the money is being used appropriately, I don’t mind paying 3 extra cents to make Boulder, particularly The Hill, safer, and renewing the culture of Boulder.”
More information on the measure’s provisions and money allocation can be found on the City of Boulder’s website.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Bethlehem Feleke at firstname.lastname@example.org.