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A November ballot measure would provide added funding for road maintenance and construction in Monument.

Monument voters in November will have a chance to extend a streak that has allowed city officials to retain revenue beyond statutory limits.

If approved, ballot measure 2E would empower officials to retain funds exceeding a legally established revenue limit and put the money toward road construction and maintenance. The measure would not raise taxes but would allow the city to spend excess funds it collects between the 2021 and 2028 fiscal years. If the measure does not pass, the town would be required to refund any excess revenue collected during those years. 

Town leaders had earlier considered a 12-year timeframe for the measure before settling on eight years, meeting minutes show. 

The ballot language says the town can retain the revenue "without regard to the limitations" of Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights and the state's legal code. The two elements of Colorado's complex fiscal system limit the amount of tax revenue local governments can collect.

Approved by voters in 1992, TABOR requires governments to refund taxpayers any revenue they collect above a certain limit. The amendment capped government spending growth and requires residents to approve tax raises.

Monument voters have freed town coffers from TABOR on at least six occasions since 1996, allowing town leaders to retain excess funds.

Counties across the state have freed their revenues from the restrictions for established periods of time, and some have passed broader bypasses of the law, presentations to Monument trustees showed. Since TABOR was adopted, more than 85% of the ballot measures brought by local governments asking to retain funds were approved by voters, according to the presentations. 

Fifty-one counties have broadly decoupled their finances from TABOR, and another 34 have asserted narrower independence from the statute, presentations show. Governments have brought fewer TABOR-related issues to voters over time. 

Reporter

Evan covers justice and public safety for The Gazette. He is a Colorado Springs native and graduate of The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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