KAJX

County Hopes Voters Renew, Increase Health Tax

Sep 28, 2018


 A tax that provides funding for 70 public health nonprofits in the valley expires this year. Ballot measure 1A asks Pitkin County voters to keep it alive.

The Healthy Communities Fund goes to government programs that help with things like reproductive health and the senior center. The money also gets dolled out to nearly 70 nonprofits that help address suicide prevention and provide mental health counseling.

Commissioner Rachel Richards says when the tax was last voted on six years ago, the commissioners intentionally set the rate lower than what they needed to cover costs because they had worries that it wouldn’t pass at the full rate. So this year, voters are not only being asked to re-up the property tax that goes to the “healthy community fund,” but also to increase the rate.

Over time state laws have increased the type of public health services that counties need to offer, including drug prevention services.