10:55pm

Tue November 6, 2012
Politics

Boulder Approves Tax Extensions 2A and 2B

Boulder voters approved an eight year extension on an electricity tax and .25 cent sales tax for another 20 years.

Ballot measure 2A which extends the electricity tax that supports Climate Action Plan (CAP) which provides Boulder homes and businesses with green energy incentives and energy efficient programs.

The original rate of taxation- $0.0049 per kilowatt-hour (KWH) for residential customers and $0.0009 per KWH for commercial- approved in 2006 has been extended for another six years, until March 2018. The city of Boulder says the CAP tax rate costs the average home $21 per year and the average businesses $96 per year, and is charged as part of a regular Xcel bill.

The revenue from the CAP tax has been used to improve energy efficiency in 4,000 homes, 1800 rental units and 100 businesses along with decreasing solid waste emissions by 12.9 percent in 2010, according to the city of Boulder website. The CAP tax has not been enough to reach the city's Kyoto Protocol goals of getting greenhouse gas emissions 7 percent below 1990 levels and has been criticized for not having more of the tax revenue go toward incentives rather than marketing efforts. A report by the Rocky Mountain Institute commissioned by the city concluded that the cost-effectiveness of the CAP tax would increase since the startup costs are over.

The CAP tax is expected to raise approximately $1.8 million a year to fund enhanced residential and commercial green energy programs, commercial energy audits, solar rebates and grants and innovation for renewable energy in all sectors.

Boulder's other tax extension, ballot measure 2B, has been approved for a 20-year extension of a .25 cent sales tax which is dedicated solely to Parks and Recreation funding.