In addition to the mill levy increase requested by the Pine River Library District, there is one more ballot issue, 7A, for residents who live in the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District.
Instead of a tax increase, however, the ballot issue would allow the district to keep the funds property owners already are paying. "We DO NOT need any more money, we are asking to keep what you are already giving us," Upper Pine wrote on its Facebook page.
Colorado voters approved the Gallagher Amendment in 1982, and it states property taxes on homes can account for only 45 percent of property taxes that special districts receive.
A six-minute YouTube video about the effects of the Gallagher Amendment on fire districts is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXbrsdQQrZ8. It is also on the Upper Pine Facebook page.
Exploding home prices on the Front Range have knocked that funding formula out of whack, resulting in cuts to budgets in rural fire districts, the video explains. The video was produced by the Colorado Fiscal Institute, with support from the Colorado State Fire Chiefs.
Upper Pine staff and board members can discuss Ballot Issue 7A with groups or interested taxpayers.
"We really wish the State Legislature would have fixed this, but unfortunately they did not," Chief Bruce Evans wrote on the district's Facebook page.