In 2007, Longmont residents voted for an extension of the 0.2-cent Open Space (OS) Sales and Use Tax (2¢ on every $10 purchase) that voters passed in 2000. The OS sales tax helps fund the acquisition, maintenance, and enhancement of OS in Longmont.
Longmont’s OS Sales Tax is anticipated to sunset in 2034.
With the explosive growth Longmont is experiencing, especially at our borders, resources are needed for the acquisition and maintenance of OS, or we may lose it forever…
¨There is very little money currently available for land acquisitions.
¨Resources are also needed for the acquisition of water rights in order to keep water in our rivers and creeks. Healthy riparian areas provide habitat for up to one-third of plant species and 70% of vertebrate species. Healthy riparian areas also help decrease flooding by stabilizing banks, and maintain or improve water quality.
Why is Open Space Important?
Open Space enhances our quality of life by:
- ¨Giving us alternative transportation methods, connectivity, and recreation opportunities
- Providing critical wildlife habitat and wildlife viewing
- Protecting forest and riparian health
- Sustaining native plants
- Safeguarding our watershed
- Helping our air quality
- Encouraging pollinator diversity
- Preserving local food/agricultural lands
- Creating community/development buffers and view corridors
- Elevating our mood, reducing stress, and decreasing anxiety and depression
- Increasing memory and concentration
- Lowering heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, and improving our immune systems
- Helping us feel connected to something bigger than ourselves
- Producing economic value that attracts families and businesses to Longmont.
Open space matters. It’s a significant element as to why we all love living here and helps make Longmont the great place it is to work and play.
Wise uses of Longmont’s Open Space Sales Tax Dollars have included the following:
- Trails and amenities around Lake McIntosh
- Extension of the St Vrain Greenway to Sandstone Ranch and beyond
- Dickens Farm / River Nature Area
- Spring Gulch Trail from Ute Creek Golf Course to Union Reservoir and onto Sandstone Ranch
- 1,000’s of acres of local, sustainable agriculture acquired in and around the City
- Park Improvements at Jim Hamm Park, Sandstone Ranch and McCall Lake
- Chick Clark Fishing Education Program and Handicapped Fishing pier at Izaak Walton Park
- Environmental Education Programming at the Sandstone Ranch Visitor Center
- ¨Funding provided to connect missing links in the City’s trail system
- … and much more
What is Needed to Protect Our Open Space?
To ensure resources are available for the future, we’re urging our City Council members to place a measure on the 2024 ballot asking residents to make our Longmont OS Tax permanent. Council needs to be thinking about the importance of OS and how they will maintain this precious amenity to align with our core values.
If the OS sales tax is allowed to lapse in 2034, the funding for maintenance and a sustainable future will need to come from the City’s general fund –which means competing with other priorities.
Since residents are already contributing, making the tax permanent will not pose an additional financial burden.
There’s precedent within Boulder County for instating a permanent OS sales tax:
- ¨ Lafayette residents overwhelmingly approved extending their OS sales tax permanently(82% in favor).
- ¨ City of Longmont residents approved a permanent Street Tax in 2019
What Can You Do?
Urge City Council to support a permanent open space sales tax ballot issue in 2024 by:
¨ Signing our online appeal at standwithourstvraincreek.com
¨ Sending a message to city council by searching “Longmont City Council Contact Form” or by accessing this link: www.longmontcolorado.gov/departments/city-council-mayor-contact-form