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Larimer County Ballot Question 1A Fairgrounds (also known as The Ranch)

KEY PROVISIONS • To approve extension for another 20 years of the existing Larimer County 0.15% sales and use tax, which expires on December 31, 2019. The extension period would expire on December 31, 2039. • The tax revenues would continue to be used in accordance with the County’s Fairgrounds and Events Complex Master Plan, as approved by the Board of County Commissioners. BACKGROUND In 1998, the County purchased a 243 acre site with money from a voter-approved county sales tax to buy the property for the Larimer County Fairgrounds and Event Center. In November, 1999, Larimer County voters approved a 0.15% sales and use tax for a term of 20 years to construct and operate the Fairgrounds and Event Center. In 2003, the Ranch opened its multi-purpose venues, used for the county fair, Colorado Eagles (hockey), 4-H events, concerts, festivals, board and civic meetings, PRCA Rodeo, and a resource for emergency response and community resiliency, including shelter space during evacuations and a base of operations for responses to local disasters. The Ranch features over 2,000 events a year with attendance of approximately 100,000. Activities at the Budweiser events and sports center generate income and do not rely on tax funds currently. Other activities, however, raise little to no income – such as Larimer County Fair, 4-H and youth events, emergency and disaster response services. The Larimer County Master Plan for Larimer County Fairgrounds is a 20-year plan that calls for improving the County Fairgrounds/Ranch facilities to remain a “regionally significant” events complex to accommodate the growing population in northern Colorado. For general information, click on the following link:http://treventscomplexnoco.blogspot.com/2017/09/For the Master Plan, click on the following link:http://www.treventscomplex.com/docs/The%20Ranch%20Master%20Plan%20170901.pdfBALLOT LANGUAGEWITHOUT INCREASING TAXES, SHALL THE EXISTING FIFTEEN ONE-HUNDREDTHS OF ONE PERCENT (.15%) LARIMER COUNTY SALES AND USE TAX PREVIOUSLY APPROVED AND DEDICATED TO AN EVENTS CENTER, 4-H, YOUTH AND COMMUNITY BUILDING, RELATED FAIRGROUNDS FACILITIES AND ASSOCIATED IMPROVEMENTS (“FAIRGROUNDS”) BE EXTENDED FOR A PERIOD OF TWENTY YEARS FROM ITS CURRENT EXPIRATION DATE OF DECEMBER 31, 2019; WITH THE REVENUES FROM SUCH TAX TO BE EXTENDED FOR A PERIOD OF TWENTY YEARS FROM ITS CURRENT EXPIRATION DATE OF DECEMBER 31, 2019; WITH THE REVENUES FROM SUCH TAX TO BE GENERATED AND USED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ RESOLUTION NO. 09052017R003 TO CONSTRUCT, EQUIP, OPERATE, MAINTAIN, IMPROVE, REMODEL, AND LEASE THE FAIRGROUNDS AS MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED IN THE LARIMER COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS AND EVENTS COMPLEX MASTER PLAN AS ADOPTED AND AS MAY BE AMENDED FROM TIME TO TIME AFTER PUBLIC HEARING, AND SHALL THE REVENUES FROM SAID TAX AND ANY INTEREST EARNINGS THEREON CONTINUE TO CONSTITUTE A VOTER APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE FOR PURPOSES OF ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION?
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  • Yes - For the Measure

  • No - Against the Measure

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Arguments

THOSE IN FAVOR SAY

• This ballot issue proposes a continuation of an existing sales and use tax which is set to expire at the end of 2019, not a new tax.

• Continuation of the tax will allow the County to continue to provide important public events and services – the Larimer County Fair, 4-H and youth events, emergency and disaster response services -- at no or minimal cost, as well as popular sports and entertainment events. • The tax will provide funds to update and construct new facilities as set out in the Larimer County Master Plan for Larimer County Fairgrounds with the aim that the Ranch be self-sustaining in the future.
THOSE OPPOSED SAY:

• The Ranch has been in operation for 14 years. By now, it should be generating enough revenue to fund ongoing upkeep and provide for future development.

• Rather than continue the tax, the County should develop other ways of increasing revenues, such as imposing a use tax on tickets to events held at the Ranch or increasing the prices it charges for events held there.

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