Willow Creek Residents to vote on formation of General Improvement District
In November, residents of the Willow Creek 1 and 2 neighborhood will be voting to form a General Improvement District (GID) to construct and maintain a fence. A GID is a local taxing entity created for the purpose of constructing, operating or maintaining specific public improvements or certain services within the district. Two questions will be on the Willow Creek ballot: one is to seek approval of the formation of the GID and the other is to seek approval to issue debt to construct a neighborhood fence.
Prior to ballots being distributed, registered voters residing or owning property within the Willow Creek 1 and 2 neighborhoods have an opportunity to submit pro and con statements about the ballot questions. These pro and con statements will be included in the Arapahoe County Ballot Issue Notice (Ballot Notice) and must be received by the City Clerk on or before Friday, September 13 at 5 p.m. Statements may be emailed to email@example.com as a word document attachment or delivered in person or by mail to 13133 E. Arapahoe Road, Centennial, 80112. Statements received after September 13 will not be considered.
The following requirements apply to pro/con statements:
- The statements should only address the ballot issue;
- The statements should not mention names of persons or private groups;
- The statements should not include endorsements or resolutions pertaining to the ballot issue; and
- Each statement must be signed by the person submitting the statement (an electronic signature will satisfy this requirement) and include the address where the person is registered to vote.
Please understand that it is unlikely for pro/con statements to be reprinted in their entirety. The information that is received by the City Clerk by September 13, 2019 will be summarized for the Ballot Notice. The Ballot Notice will be mailed to every registered voter household by the Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder's Office.
These questions are on the ballot, in part, due to the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR), a 1992 amendment to the Colorado Constitution. TABOR requires voter approval for a government to: (1) impose new taxes; (2) increase a tax rate; (3) incur multi-year debt; and (4) retain revenues. TABOR specifies the language that must be included in ballot questions. TABOR questions generally appear on the ballot during November coordinated elections.
Residents of the Willow Creek 1 and 2 Homeowners Associations petitioned the City to form a GID to replace the aging fence on certain arterial roads along the community. Following public hearings concerning the formation of the Willow Creek 1 & 2 General Improvement District (District) for that purpose, the City Council referred two TABOR questions to voters for the November 5, 2019 election.
The first TABOR question asks voters to authorize the formation of District and allow the District to:
- Impose taxes for operations and maintenance up to $33,000 starting in 2020 based on a 0.75 mill levy;
- Avoid decreases in revenues from changes to the residential assessment rate;
- Be exempt from the 5.5% statutory limit on revenue growth; and
- Retain revenues of the District as a voter approved change under TABOR.
The second TABOR question asks voters to authorize the District to:
- Incur debt up to $4,340,000 for new fencing;
- Impose up to $285,000 in taxes per year to repay that debt; and
- Retain revenues from the debt, taxes and interest earned on those amounts as a revenue change.
The two TABOR questions are below.
SHALL WILLOW CREEK 1 & 2 GENERAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT TAXES BE INCREASED $33,000.00 IN 2020 FOR COLLECTION IN 2021 AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER BY THE IMPOSITION OF AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAXES AT A MILL LEVY RATE NOT TO EXCEED 0.750 MILLS (PROVIDED THAT THE DISTRICT’S TOTAL MILL LEVY MAY BE ADJUSTED TO OFFSET REVENUE LOSSES FROM REFUNDS, ABATEMENTS AND CHANGES TO THE PERCENTAGE OF ACTUAL VALUATION USED TO DETERMINE ASSESSED VALUATION); SUCH REVENUES TO BE USED FOR THE IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE DISTRICT AND FOR THE GENERAL OPERATING EXPENSES; AND SHALL THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH TAXES, THE SPECIFIC OWNERSHIP TAXES AND ANY OTHER REVENUE OF THE DISTRICT AND INVESTMENT EARNINGS THEREON CONSTITUTE VOTER APPROVED REVENUE AND/OR SPENDING CHANGES AND BE COLLECTED AND SPENT BY THE DISTRICT WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY SPENDING, REVENUE RAISING OR OTHER LIMITATION CONTAINED WITHIN ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION AND SHALL THE DISTRICT BE AUTHORIZED TO COLLECT AND EXPEND FROM ITS MILL LEVY ANY SUCH AMOUNT WHICH IS MORE THAN THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE BE PERMITTED UNDER THE 5.5% LIMIT IMPOSED BY SECTION 29-1-301, COLORADO REVISED STATUTES IN 2021 AND EACH YEAR THEREAFTER; AND SHALL WILLOW CREEK 1 & 2 GENERAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT BE ORGANIZED?
SHALL WILLOW CREEK 1 & 2 GENERAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT DEBT BE INCREASED $4,340,000.00, WITH A MAXIMUM REPAYMENT COST NOT TO EXCEED $8,500,000.00; AND SHALL WILLOW CREEK 1 & 2 GENERAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT TAXES BE INCREASED $285,000.00 ANNUALLY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING, CONSTRUCTING, INSTALLING AND OTHERWISE PROVIDING NEW FENCING, INCLUDING MASONRY WALLS, AND RELATED IMPROVEMENTS, TOGETHER WITH INCIDENTAL COSTS RELATING TO SUCH PURPOSE, BY THE ISSUANCE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS, NOTES, LEASES, CONTRACTS, OR OTHER MULTIPLE FISCAL YEAR FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS WHICH SHALL BEAR INTEREST AT A NET EFFECTIVE INTEREST RATE NOT IN EXCESS OF 5.00% PER ANNUM, MATURE, BE SUBJECT TO REDEMPTION, WITH OR WITHOUT PAYMENT OF PREMIUM OF NOT TO EXCEED 3%, AND BE ISSUED AT SUCH TIME, IN ONE SERIES OR MORE, AT SUCH PRICE (AT, ABOVE OR BELOW PAR) AND IN SUCH MANNER AND CONTAINING SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS, NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THIS BALLOT ISSUE, AS THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MAY DETERMINE; AND SHALL AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAXES BE LEVIED ON ALL TAXABLE PROPERTY IN THE DISTRICT, WITHOUT LIMITATION OF MILL RATE, AND IN AMOUNTS SUFFICIENT TO PRODUCE THE ANNUAL INCREASE SET FORTH ABOVE OR SUCH LESSER AMOUNT AS MAY BE NECESSARY, TO BE USED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING THE PRINCIPAL OF, PREMIUM, IF ANY, AND INTEREST ON THE DISTRICT’S DEBT OR ANY REFUNDING DEBT AND TO FUND ANY RESERVES FOR THE PAYMENT THEREOF; AND SHALL THE PROCEEDS OF ANY SUCH DEBT AND THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH TAXES, ANY OTHER REVENUE USED TO PAY SUCH DEBT, AND INVESTMENT INCOME THEREON, BE COLLECTED AND SPENT BY THE DISTRICT AS A VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE, WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY SPENDING, REVENUE-RAISING OR OTHER LIMITATION CONTAINED WITHIN ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION AND WITHOUT LIMITING IN ANY YEAR THE AMOUNT OF OTHER REVENUES THAT MAY BE COLLECTED AND SPENT BY THE DISTRICT?
Specific questions regarding the ballot questions should be sent to the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.