Voters rejecting sales tax for event center

Grand Junction city voters this evening are soundly rejecting a sales-tax increase that would pay for the construction of a 5,200-seat event center in downtown Grand Junction, according to unofficial, preliminary results posted minutes ago by the City Clerk’s Office.

Voters were turning away Referred Measure 2A by a vote count of 9,451-3,821. The measure would have increased the city’s 2.75 percent sales-tax rate by a quarter-cent to build the event center and fund renovations to Two Rivers Convention Center. The event center could potentially have been home to a minor league hockey franchise and hosted dozens of other events.

Supporters contended the tax increase would have generated $30 million in new annual spending and jumpstarted Mesa County’s lagging economy. Opponents questioned the financial viability and necessity of the project, arguing the county has more pressing needs.

Meanwhile, Referred Measure 2B was passing easily, 8,341-4,868. The measure would delay repayment of the debt on Riverside Parkway and direct that money to fund road maintenance and improvement in the city.

In the three contested City Council races, incumbent Mayor Phyllis Norris and Councilor Rick Taggart and challenger Duke Wortmann are on their way to winning election.

Norris was ahead of challenger Jesse Daniels 6,953-4,582, Taggart was ahead of challenger Lincoln Pierce 7,285-3,737 and Wortmann was ahead of incumbent Councilor Marty Chazen 6,706-4,794.

Incumbent Councilor Duncan McArthur was unopposed in his re-election bid.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Daily Sentinel.


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