Arapahoe County Open Spaces Sales Tax is good for everyone

Lending their support to the cause of the Arapahoe County Open Spaces 0.0025 percent sales tax were Nancy Jackson, Commissioner, Jeff Baker, Yangson Baker and Arapahoe County Assessor P. K. Kaiser.

BY FREDA MIKLIN
GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER

At a privately funded event hosted by Jim Kennedy on September 15 to garner support for the approval of Arapahoe County, Colorado Ballot Issue 1A to permanently retain the 0.0025 percent Open Spaces Sales Tax, Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Sharpe, joined by Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Chair Nancy Jackson and Commissioner Jeff Baker, told supporters that the small tax of 25 cents on $100 in purchases has raised “almost $360 million for Arapahoe County Open Spaces” since it was first authorized 18 years ago. As important, Sharpe reminded listeners that “71 percent of the tax collected is returned to cities through share-back grants and programs that go back directly to the cities.” During the pandemic, Sharpe said, “the use of parks, trails and open spaces went up about 40 percent.” 

Standing together to support the Arapahoe County Open Spaces 0.0025% sales tax were Jeff Vogel, whose firm Vogel & Associates provides strategic consultation on land planning and development issues, long-range comprehensive planning, design, and project management, Kelly Lear, M.D., Arapahoe County Coroner, Mark Gotto, manager of the City of Centennial for Ting Mobile & Internet and a candidate for Arapahoe County Commissioner District Two in 2022 (Nancy Sharpe is term-limited), Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Sharpe, host Jim Kennedy, and Mark Harding, president and principal executive officer of Pure Cycle, developer of Sky Ranch, a master planned community. Photos by Freda Miklin

BOCC Chair Nancy Jackson said that, “Open spaces increase property values,” which Arapahoe County Assessor P.K. Kaiser, in attendance, confirmed. Jackson added, “Mental health professionals agreed that being outdoors is one of the best antidotes to depression and anxiety.” She continued, “For so many reasons, it’s very important that we reauthorize this open spaces sales tax.”

GV Mayor George Lantz caught up with Steve Burns, president of Iron Woman Construction & Environmental Services. They served on the GV planning and zoning commission together from 2013 to 2015.

Commissioner Jeff Baker agreed, saying, “I can’t express enough how important this is to all our citizens, including those in Watkins, Byers, Strasberg and Deer Trail. The parks out there are the community center, they’re where people gather. It is so important to our constituency to see this renewed…Nowadays, the grants from this tax are some towns’ whole parks and recreation department. It funds staffing and projects in every single one of our cities and towns. It is so important for mental health and physical health. It is something that our citizens have come to rely on.”

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