Voters approve property tax referendums for South Routt, Hayden schools

South Routt Elementary School

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the final vote count.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Voters in Hayden and South Routt approved property tax referendums 4A and 5A, both of which provide funds for their respective school districts.

Referendum 4A passed 851 to 431 votes, and 5A passed 1,122 to 477.

Hayden voters decided to renew an existing mill levy with about 65 percent of voters approving the measure, while 73 percent of South Routt voters approved a new property tax for their district.

The South Routt tax will generate about $250,000 annually, all of which is committed to increasing staff salaries, said Superintendent Rim Watson.

Residents will pay an additional $20.99 per year per $100,000 of assessed valuation. The new tax will be in effect for 10 years, sunsetting in 2028.

“I appreciate our community choosing to support the board of education’s initiative to pay our employees the competitive salaries they deserve,” Watson said.

In Hayden, residents will continue to pay $24.79 per month per $100,000 of assessed valuation, and commercial entities will pay $90.31 per $100,000 assessed valuation. Approval also removes the sunset provision, which was scheduled for the 2019-20 budget year.

The tax was first passed narrowly in 2010 by just 10 votes. It was renewed again in 2014 with 73 percent of the vote.

The $321,473 generated annually will be used to maintain small class sizes, attract and retain highly qualified staff and fund facility upgrades and maintenance.

Hayden School District Board of Education President Brian Hoza called the renewal and funds “critical,” having a “widespread impact on a district of our size.” He also called revenue crucial for upcoming operations and maintenance of the new facilities for which construction plans are underway.

The municipal taxes also help to offset nearly a decade of cuts in state funding, seen as particularly vital with the defeat of Amendment 73, the statewide measure that would have raised $1.6 billion in taxes for Colorado schools. The majority of local voters did support Amendment 73, with 51 percent of the vote.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email or follow her on Twitter @KariHarden.

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