The West Chamber serving Jefferson County unanimously voted to endorse a $99 million bond package and $39 million mill levy that will be on the
Nov. 6 ballot.
The bond and mill levy, also known as issues 3A and 3B, are proposed property tax increases that would benefit Jeffco Public Schools. The money from the bond would be used for capital projects for buildings, repairs and renovations. The mill-levy money would be for the general fund, specifically for day-to-day operations.
Citizens for Jeffco Schools, a group in support of the tax increase for the schools, has been showing its support at chamber, council and board meetings throughout the county. At the West Chamber’s June 20 meeting, the group unanimously agreed to endorse putting the issues on the ballot.
“Our school system is a primary tool in economic development and is vital to the overall growth and development of businesses in our county,” Jim Curtis, chairman of the chamber board, stated in a press release.
According to the district’s research, the bond and mill-levy initiatives will increase individuals’ property taxes by $1.23 per month per $100,000 of home value.
Cindy Stevenson, Jeffco Public Schools superintendent, sits on the West Chamber board, and abstained from the vote.
The board outlined the reasons it supports the measures in the release. After reviewing multiple studies, the board decided the impact on the business community makes support pertinent.
Brian Willms, president and CEO of the West Chamber, said the quality of schools affects the education of the future workforce, and helps retain business in the county. Keeping school quality high is also important to increase and maintain residential and commercial property values, he said.
“It’s an economy issue,” Willms said. “Good school systems play a significant role in economic
Kelly Johnson, co-chair of Citizens for Jeffco Schools, said the Golden Chamber has also endorsed the balot questions, and she said the group expects the Arvada and Evergreen chambers to join in supporting the measures.
“We are so encouraged by the broad community support,” Johnson said, “from businesses, community leaders, parents, seniors, recent grads and more. We will spend the next four and a half months making sure everyone in Jeffco has the facts about what we’re trying to maintain for Jeffco students and how little it will cost.”