Municipal election of the town of Eagle, 2014
The town board election of Eagle, Colorado was held on the 1st of April 2014 and the most important issue on test was the town’s decision on what to do with the revenue collected from the lodging occupation tax.
The lodging tax
The collection of this revenue is almost a long standing tradition of the town as it has been continued for the last 18yrs. Each room of lodging has been taxed $2 per night for the last 18 years with the revenue generated being reserved for purchase of open space, and every year this taxation has resulted in the collection of a staggering $100,000 approximately. The year of 2013 saw a portion of this revenue being used for the construction of the now well-loved Haymaker Trail. This work was done by Eagle in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Developers of Haymeadow. In reference to this diversification of revenue expenditure Mayor Kostick remarked that the town was not against utilising the proceeds for trail making but given the phrasing of the 1996 vote question, they were apprehensive of including in the list of expenditures other improvement issues like building of restrooms etc.
A recent vote was passed
To remove such complications and confusions, the April first vote was conducted with the clear cut question modifying the original stance. The previous question stated that the revenues in concern will be restricted in terms of its usage and thus, used only for acquisition, management and maintenance of open space lands, conservation of wildlife habitat and preservation of wetlands.
The question posed on the ballot of 1st April 2014 stretched this mandate to include spending on various other works namely a) construction and maintenance of soft path recreation trails connecting to the existing Eagle area trails system and b) the construction of facilities which will serve open space users such as restrooms, parking areas and other physical improvements which improve the quality of the user’s experience when utilizing town open space and adjacent lands.
It was at around the beginning of the last month that a recent vote was passed which decided that question in concern should be officially put to vote. Mayor Kostick further stated that the latest additions much change the essence of the purpose behind the collection of the said tax; it rather is an extension of it, a “housekeeping item”.
Last week the issue was put to vote and it was passed with the support of the majority of people. The results revealed that out of a total of 787 votes 664 electors agreed to the proposition while only 102 of them rejected it.
The results show the well reasoned thinking on the part of the townspeople as this decision will lead to a number of benefits for the whole community. Thanks to the green signal given to the proposal, now the tax payer’s money can be utilised not only for land acquisition and preservation of wildlife and wetlands but the same protection can be extended to other areas including the river and winter trail access, protection of paved crusher fine trails etc.