Fruita panel will weigh lifting of tax limits again

The Fruita City Council has appointed a citizens committee to study the effects of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights on the city and recommend whether to ask voters to approve a revenue-retention measure next year.

Since voters in 1992 approved the constitutional amendment that caps how much money governments can collect and spend, Fruita voters have agreed four times to temporarily lift those limits: 1993, 1995, 2000 and 2006, City Manager Clint Kinney said.

The most recent de-Brucing measure — a term named for TABOR author Douglas Bruce — allowed the city to keep the extra money for six years and spend it on capital projects and maintenance of those projects. The measure expires at the end of next year.

Kinney said one of the benefits of de-Brucing is it has allowed the city to go after other forms of revenue that would have otherwise counted against its TABOR cap.

“It’s allowed us to be aggressive in applying for grants,” he said.

Kinney said the committee will look at how much money the city retained each time voters have agreed to de-Bruce and the projects the city completed with those funds.

The committee is expected to begin its work in October and make a recommendation to the City Council in November. Council members then would make a decision in late November or early December whether to ask voters to de-Bruce again.

“I want to give Fruita citizens the right information to let them decide if they want to do this again,” said former Councilman Dave Karisny, who was appointed to the committee and helped draft the language of several of the other measures.

Along with Karisny, the council named Louis Brackett, Nick Kohls, Karen Leonhart and John Rodwick to the committee. Kinney said the city is recruiting others to serve on the panel.


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