Lakewood voters have said yes to a special ballot question in which $12.5 million will go toward projects that the city has identified as community needs with 61.72 percent voting in favor of the city lifting Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) limits.The money comes from additional revenue that the city collected last year, largely due to the 2017 hailstorm that caused residents to replace their cars, or make repairs to their homes. The constitutional amendment TABOR restricts the amount of income and spending that the city can engage in, and it requires residents to vote on what they want to do with TABOR limits.“I think it’s incredible. Our community spoke tonight, and said that they want to reinvest. They love Lakewood, and they want to see Lakewood be a great community. They are willing to reinvest those dollars in things that will make Lakewood thrive for years to come,” Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul said.Lakewood officials identified projects that the money will go toward like additional police agents, vehicles and other equipment, park improvements, and improvements to things like sidewalks, traffic signals and turn lanes.
"The community spoke, it was a very definitive answer from them," said Councilman Charley Able. "We need to make sure we are careful with how we spend (TABOR limits) and exercise some conservatisim to make sure it takes care of the needs we have identified." Lakewood City Council previously voted seven to three in favor of sending the ballot question to voters. Ramey Johnson, Pete Roybal and Mike Bieda were the three councilmembers who voted against the TABOR question.
Natalie Menten of the Jeffco Republicans said in an email that the money could've gone a long way toward residents who are struggling financially.
"Our campaign committee, Save Our Refunds, took into consideration that many residents are struggling and could have used their refunds to invest in their education to get higher paying jobs, cover rising housing costss, pay emergency medical needs, or just shore up the family's savings account," Menten sasid in the email.
Paul sees the TABOR limits as something that will positively impact the Lakewood community.“I’m just overwhelmed. What a wonderful response from our incredible residents to say they love Lakewood. We are going to continue to make sure that we reinvest in it,” Paul said.
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