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The Pueblo West Fire Protection Sales Tax Oversight Group announced it will release its first public report about Fire Department spending of taxes collected through the passage of voter-approved Ballot Issue 6A, which was passed in 2020. The first report will be released this summer.
Ballot Issue 6A authorized a temporary sales tax increase of 1.0% through 2030. The funds raised from this tax would be placed in a dedicated fund used solely for the purpose of funding Pueblo West Fire Department needs.
A provision of the voter-approved Ballot Issue was the establishment of a five-member oversight group. The group meets twice annually to review expenditures made using 6A revenue, ensuring that spending is consistent with approved ballot language. The group develops an annual report to present to voters.
Pueblo West Fire Chief Brian Caserta provided updates to the group at its first 2023 meeting, which took place on April 7. You can see a list of updates on the Fire Protection Sales Tax Oversight Group web page.
Why is the group taking so long to put out its first report?
After the ballot issue passed, funds needed to be collected for a full year before they could be spent. This is why the first significant spending from the fire protection sales tax fund didn't take place until 2022, and the group wanted to wait until funds were collected and spent before assembling an initial report.
The group's first report will take place after the Metro District's annual audit, which will be completed in June 2023. This ensures the group's report has accurate figures.
What does the ballot language fund?
According to the ballot language, the tax will fund:
- The construction of a new fire station in the southwest portion of Pueblo West
- 715 S. McCulloch Blvd. West (map) chosen as the site of the fire station
- Staffing of the new fire station with additional firefighters.
- Provide funding for capital equipment and projects related to the Fire Department
- Maintenance and upkeep of the Fire Department and fire protection resources.
Authority of the Fire Protection Sales Taxes Oversight Group
Unlike the Metro Board of Directors, which has the power to approve spending, the Oversight Group doesn't have such power. Its job is to provide voters with periodic reports about spending from the tax fund and whether all spending follows the rules outlined in Ballot Question 6A.
Its first report will be drawn up following the Metro District's annual financial audit, which is completed each June. Waiting until the audit is complete ensures that accurate figures appear in the report.
A second report is expected at the end of 2023.
View updates fire station construction and how funds have been used so far.