Want to learn more? Check out some of our FAQ below!
Q: What is this measure all about?
A: Issue 1B is a continuation and augmentation of our Open Space Program, originally passed i 2002. This program will continue to conserve open spaces, farms, ranches, forests and mountains which, as we’ve seen these last 14 years, has conserved lands that work to keep water in rivers like the Colorado, Eagle, and Frying Pan; has protected critical wildlife habitat, wetlands, and scenic vistas; and continues to enhance our world-class recreational amenities, which drives our economy and sustains our quality of life. This extension will include new, dedicated funding for the creation and maintenance of soft trails, and bonding authority to expedite the completion of the Eagle Valley Trail.
Q: Is this a tax increase?
A: No. This is an extension of the current 1.5 mill levy, which means taxes will not be increased. This measure does create bonding authority for the county. 20% of the current mill levy will be dedicated to debt service when bonds are utilized to complete the Eagle Valley Trail, ensuring no raise in our property tax.
Q: How are the rest of the funds broken down?
A: The total breakdown for the 1.5 mill levy is as follows:
- 75% for the protection of water quality and conservation of open space, wildlife habitat, wetlands and floodplains, scenic landscapes and vistas, and to provide access points to our river;
- 20% for the creation and maintenance, as well as debt service for bonds, of paved trails; and
- 5% for the creation and maintenance of unpaved trails throughout Eagle County.
Q: When will it be on the ballot?
A: The election will be held on November 8, 2016.
Q: How does land conservation protect water quantity?
A: The use of tools like conservation easements tie water to protected lands by encumbering water rights – this means that water stays in Eagle County without being diverted to other watersheds, and ensures that the spectacular landscapes carved out by our rivers endure forever.
Q: Why now?
A: According to a recent poll of Eagle County residents, 7 in 10 people believe that the protection of our rivers, wildlife habitat, and wetlands are extremely or very important. Further, over 80% of our residents indicated that they get out and use our multi-use trails to hike, jog, walk, road bike or mountain bike, hunt and fish, cross-country ski, and ride horses. With strong support from County government and our residents, 2016 is the right time to ensure the continuation of our open space program, and create new, dedicated sources of funding for the creation and maintenance of soft trails, and the bonding authority necessary to complete the Eagle Valley Trail.
Q: How long will this property tax last?
A: This temporary mill levy will last 15 years.
Q: Who benefits from this tax?
A: You do! We do! Visitors to Eagle County do!
For the last 14 years, our open space program has protected our natural beauty and scenic vistas; retained Eagle County’s rich history, culture, and agricultural uses; preserved critical wildlife habitat; curbed sprawl in the face of extreme development pressure; and has provided lots of access to our public lands, improving opportunities for high-quality dispersed outdoor recreation. This November 8th, we have the chance to extend this terrific program, and add a robust trail component. Issue 1B will:
- Continue to protect water quality and quantity in rivers like the Eagle, Colorado, and Frying Pan;
- Continue conserving open space that preserves critical wildlife habitat, wetlands, and floodplains;
- Continue conserving scenic landscapes and vistas;
- Continue providing public access points to rivers;
- Enable bonding authority to complete the Eagle Valley Trail;
- Dedicate a portion of the mill levy for debt service to pay bond interest without increasing taxes;
- Dedicate a portion of the mill levy to the creation and maintenance of unpaved trails throughout Eagle County.