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Decisions, decisions



From giving permission to smoke a joint to upgrading the sheriff's joint, voters in the Pikes Peak region will have a say this November on a variety of questions.

Although government agencies have until Friday to certify measures with the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office, we know that three cities, the county, three fire districts and the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority have indicated they'll ask ballot questions this fall.

And then there's that presidential thing, which could mean a big turnout. (If you're not registered, go to

Here's a look at the proposals:

State: Amendment 64 would amend the Colorado Constitution to allow those 21-plus to consume and possess limited amounts of marijuana for recreational use; subject wholesale sales to a state tax; and require the first $40 million be spent on public-school capital construction. (Local governments could regulate or prohibit facilities for cultivation, manufacture, testing and sales.)

Amendment S would amend state personnel system rules, such as expanding preference for veterans and requiring merit-based appointments follow a comparative analysis process. Another measure pertaining to limits on campaign contributions was under review at press time.

Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority: A measure to extend the .55 of 1 percent sales tax until Dec. 31, 2024 to fund regional transportation projects. Top priorities include a Stapleton Drive/Briargate Boulevard study and West Colorado Avenue reconstruction from 31st Street to U.S. Highway 24. The measure, which lists 69 other "priority A" projects and 77 "priority B" projects, would raise roughly $38 million annually.

El Paso County: The term-limits question would undo the addition of a third four-year term for county commissioners, the treasurer, clerk and recorder, surveyor and assessor, approved by voters in 2010. The ballot language states that to approve the measure would mean "denying the citizens of El Paso County the opportunity to retain the holders of these offices for 12 years if the voters so desire." And Sheriff Terry Maketa's tax measure (see p. 14) would raise the sales tax by .23 of 1 percent, costing every resident of the county on average $28 per year for eight years.

Manitou Springs: A property tax increase of 4 mills to merge the Manitou Springs library with the Pikes Peak Library District. The tax increase would add $32 a year for every $100,000 in residential valuation and $116 for every $100,000 in commercial valuation.

Calhan: Sales tax increase of 1 percent for street and road maintenance. Expected to raise about $50,000 annually.

Fountain: A property tax increase of 5.25 mills to fund construction and equipping a new fire station. After the debt for that is paid, the rate would decline to 3.32 mills and fund operation of the station and other fire services, including emergency medical services. The measure would add $42 in tax for every $100,000 in residential valuation and $152 for every $100,000 in commercial valuation.

Security Fire Protection District: A property tax increase of about 3.325 mills to add staff. The tax would add about $26 for every $100,000 in residential valuation, and $96 for every $100,000 in commercial valuation.

Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District: A property tax increase of 3 mills to fund operations after reserve funds were used to offset revenue lost due to declining property values. Three mills would add $24 to every $100,000 in residential valuation, and $87 to every $100,000 in commercial valuation.

Southwestern Highway 115 Fire Protection District: Officials didn't respond to questions about their measure by press time.

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