BY FREDA MIKLIN
The City of Littleton has been struggling and failing to meet its infrastructure needs with its available revenue. After considering other alternatives, including closing facilities and raising other taxes, the city council concluded it could not raise the amount of money needed to solve its problems with anything other than a sales tax increase.
The long list of deferred maintenance and current needs in Littleton consists of:
- Major street maintenance and reconstruction in neighborhoods and significant corridors;
- Mineral and Santa Fe intersection improvements;
- Downtown streetscape and parking improvements;
- Public Works facility replacement; and
- maintenance and improvements to city-owned facilities at the Littleton Museum, Bemis Library, Municipal Courthouse and others; and
- Public Safety facility improvements;
- Enhanced environmental stewardship improvements such as sustainable landscape irrigation and conservation improvements.
After long debate about the amount of money necessary to address the city’s infrastructure needs in a responsible and sustainable way, the city council finally agreed unanimously on August 26 that the rate increase needed to be 0.75 percent, which would bring the total city sales tax to 3.75%. The 0.75 percent increase is projected to raise $9,773,087 annually. Combined with all other applicable sales taxes, the total tax rate in Littleton will be 8.00% if the voters approve Ballot Issue 3A on November 2.
Some business owners in the city have expressed concerns that the 8 percent sales tax rate could cause shoppers to take their business elsewhere.