Early Pitkin county school board results show support for property tax

Nov 3, 2015

Sheila Wills is one of two incumbents in the Aspen School District school board race.
Credit Marci Krivonen / Aspen Public Radio

Question 3A, which asks to continue a property tax to fund Aspen schools, is winning thus far with initial results in in Pitkin County.

The ballot measure so far is 66 percent for and 33 percent against. The $991,000 mill-levy override will help the district close the $1 million budget shortfall it faces for the next school year. It’s estimated the district will have to close a $4 million gap during the next five years.

John Maloy, superintendent of schools, says that the tax is critical for the school district.

"Approval of the mill levy is very important to the district," Maloy said. " As we've indicated, it will bring in just under a million dollars, but will help us bridge the funding gap. At this juncture, we hope that this vote continues in our favor."

The district has made $2 million in budget reductions in recent years as a result of the 2009 recession. Schools were helped out by a city of Aspen sales tax that is set to expire next year.

The district has been able to backfill some of this shortfall with the voters’ approval of the city of Aspen sales tax that is set to expire in December 2016.

Also with initial results in, incumbents Sandra Peirce and Sheila Wills have the majority of votes in the school board election.

The annual cost is about $3 for each $100,000 of property value.