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Healthy living tax headed to voters

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A proposal for a new tax crafted from results of a town hall survey on healthy living is headed to Cedaredge voters.

Trustees at their July 16 meeting approved reserving a place on the November ballot for the tax question, pending approval from the State Department of Revenue for the ballot question's wording.

The the town's healthy living tax if approved by voters would authorize a 25 percent increase in the town's current sales and use tax ­--from 2 percent to 2.5 percent, and it would be funded by consumer purchases including motor vehicles, construction and building materials, and food.

Consumers are well-familiar with the sales tax, but less so with the use tax. Cedaredge's use tax as stated in the municipal code "is imposed upon the privilege of storing, using or consuming in the town any construction and building materials, and motor and other vehicles on which registration is required, purchased at retail." There are some exceptions.

Trustees have been discussing the town's sales tax at public meetings over the last year. The subject came up at the annual budget retreat last August when it was noted the town's sales tax rate is lower than other area communities, and the topic has been mentioned at other times. When town hall's healthy living survey appeared in May, it included pointed reference to the comparative sales tax rates.

As discussed at last month's town board meeting, proceeds from the tax if approved by voters would be used generally for "recreation programs and projects." Overall results of the town's healthy living survey showed a majority of residents opposing a tax increase to fund various projects and activities.

In other business at their July 16 regular meeting, the Cedaredge trustees dealt with the following matters:

• The Cedaredge Police Department received a letter of commendation from Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee for assistance with busting a large marijuana grow operation in the Cactus Park area.

• The town's new building inspector, Daniel Scott, was introduced to the trustees. He is retired and is from Aurora.

• Trustees again discussed the issue of energy-hungry appliances in the Civic Center dining hall kitchen. Town staff says that Volunteers of America, which runs the senior meals program there, is responsible for replacing the appliances with more energy-efficient ones. The new director of VOA's senior meals program briefly addressed the trustees on the program and asked for a tour of the proposed Hunsicker cafeteria/community room project.

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