BILL SUMMARY for SB09-105
SENATE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ENERGY
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Refer Senate Bill 09-105 to Committee of the Whole||PASS|
02:09 PM -- Senate Bill 09-105
The meeting was called to order. A quorum was present. Senator Dan Gibbs, prime sponsor, presented Senate Bill 09-105, which removes the statutory limit on the amount that may be raised in a single year by a special property tax levied by a Board of County Commissioners for the purpose of fighting prairie or forest fires. Under current law, counties may impose a special property tax with voter approval to generate up to $500,000 annually for the purpose of fighting both forest and prairie firesl. Senator Gibbs make some introductory remarks about the bill.
The following people testified on the bill:
02:12 PM -- Commissioner Bob French, representing the Summit County Board of Commissioners, spoke in support of the bill. Commissioner French explained that the $500,000 cap on the annual tax is not enough to address the risk of catastrophic wildfire. He addressed questions from the committee about the special property tax limit under current law and recent property taxes levied by Summit County.
02:18 PM -- Mr. Chris Mendez, representing Colorado Counties Inc., spoke in support of the bill. Mr. Mendez gave an overview of recent legislative history of limits on special property taxes for fighting wildfires. Mr. Mendez addressed questions from the committee. Senator Gibbs said that the bill will give counties the flexibility to ask for additional funds if needed, and stressed that the property tax increase requires a vote of the people to pass. Discussion ensued.
02:26 PM -- Mr. Paul Cooke, representing the Colorado State Fire Chiefs' Association, spoke in support of the bill. Mr. Cooke said it is not unusual to exceed $500,000 a day to pay for the cost of fighting a wildfire. He also addressed questions from the committee about the amount of potential property tax increases that may be levied. Senator Lundberg expressed his reservations about the bill. Discussion ensued about state and local control regarding tax increases.
|TIME: || 02:36:58 PM|
|MOTION:||Refer Senate Bill 09-105 to Committee of the Whole with a favorable recommendation. The motion carried on a vote of 5-2.|
Final YES: 5 NO: 2 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
Prior to the vote, Senator Gibbs made some concluding remarks about the bill and asked the committee for their support.