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Posted on: September 1, 2017

County Proposes 0.65% Sales Tax Increase to Fund EMS Operations

Clear Creek County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously today to seek a 0.65 percent sales tax increase, County-wide. The proposal will be on the November 2017 ballot, and brought forth to voters to consider. Currently, the County has a one percent sales tax--one of the lowest in the state—and, it has not been changed since 1976.
“With the continued budget challenges, we simply cannot afford to subsidize our emergency medical services (EMS) used by so many residents and visitors in the County every day,” said Keith Montag, County Manager. Although EMS does recoup some of its costs from billing services and reimbursements, it doesn’t cover the entire $1.5M annual budget. Currently, the County’s General Fund subsidizes EMS by approximately $800,000 annually.
“Over the last year, everyone I’ve spoken to say they support and want our EMS to continue helping and serving people in this community,” said Tim Mauck, Board of Commissioners Chairman. “This proposal will ensure we continue to provide a consistent, reliable, life-saving service,” he added.
The increase would substantially offset the costs associated with increased EMS call volumes and responses—which have grown by more than 6% annually since 2013.
2017 is currently on track to be the busiest year on record. Approximately 60% of Clear Creek EMS patient contacts are non-County residents, and a significant portion of this additional sales tax will be paid by these visitors.
As part of a continued effort to find efficiencies and a better management strategy for EMS operations, the County partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in June 2017—which will provide a comprehensive analysis to assist County leadership on how services are best delivered and managed. That CDPHE study is expected to be completed by the end of September.
The proposal will be on the Coordinated Election ballot, Nov. 7, 2017. Voting information will be available on the County Clerk & Recorder website: http://www.co.clear-creek.co.us/index.aspx?nid=104
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