The five-person board earlier this summer unanimously agreed to ask voters to extend a tax that charges residents a quarter of a penny on retail purchases made within Aurora’s largest county. First approved by voters in 2003, the tax benefits the maintenance and creation of the county’s 70 miles of trails, 168 parks and 31,000 acres of open space.
The tax has netted about $360 million since it was first levied in 2004. Following a re-authorization by voters in 2011, it is currently set to expire in 2023.
The question on this year’s ballot asks voters to approve the tax in perpetuity. It could only be axed following an additional vote of the people.
The referred measure wouldn’t increase the current tax, but it would slightly rejigger certain allocations, bumping the percentage of dollars available for maintenance and reducing the pot available for the purchase of new space and trail creation. Half of the tax dollars would remain shared with the county’s various cities and towns.