At its August 30 meeting in Steamboat Springs, the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution to put a ballot issue before the voters of the district in November 2017.

If passed, this ballot issue will authorize the trustees to maintain college services in the future by adjusting the CMC mill levy if needed in response to statewide revenue reductions caused by the Gallagher Amendment. Trustees would have the ability to adjust mill levy only when there are future Gallagher Amendment reductions, and the mill levy increase would be limited in amount to any such reductions. The Gallagher Amendment requires periodic rebalancing of residential and commercial property taxes by lowering statewide residential assessment rates; commercial assessment rates remain fixed according to the state’s constitution.

As a result of recent dramatic growth on the Front Range, the college and other rural districts that rely on property taxes recently experienced significant reductions in property tax revenues. The Colorado Legislative Council forecasts that, should population and housing growth in Colorado’s Front Range continue in future years, additional reductions to the statewide residential assessment rate are likely.

Other actions taken by board

In Wednesday’s meeting in Steamboat Springs trustees also approved a 20-year fiber-optic utility easement agreement with Cedar Holdings Group Incorporated in Garfield County, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding with Eagle County School District that covers five years of CMC’s access and use of the new career and technical education facilities under construction at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum. This facility will include a teaching kitchen for culinary arts and a construction trades lab.

Trustees also voted to extend the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program to certain students at the Steamboat Springs campus, beginning in the 2018-19 academic year. This is a revision of the spring 2015 direction from the board to limit the WUE program to certain students at the Leadville and Spring Valley campuses.