At a special meeting held virtually on July 29, the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to endorse SCR 20-001, a measure that will appear on Colorado’s Nov. 3 ballot.

If approved by Colorado voters, the Gallagher Amendment Repeal and Property Tax Assessment Rates Measure would repeal the most restrictive aspects of the Gallagher Amendment. It was passed by a bipartisan majority of the Colorado legislature in 2020 and certified for the ballot on June 12 this year.

The college’s trustees are supportive of repealing the Gallagher Amendment, a unique provision in the Colorado constitution that periodically and uniformly resets local revenues based on statewide economic trends.

Following the endorsement, CMC President and CEO Carrie Hauser praised the trustees’ action.

“Without raising taxes on the residents and businesses of our communities, the proposed Gallagher repeal would ensure long-term fiscal stability for CMC and all locally funded services, like fire districts, schools, and other special districts,” Hauser said.

‘Statewide action is needed’

“Two years ago, the citizens of CMC’s district passed measure 7D, which also took aim at the adverse effects of the Gallagher Amendment,” said Hauser. “Though important for CMC and supported by the overwhelming majority of voters in CMC’s district, passage of 7D doesn’t change the Gallagher Amendment’s basic flaws. Statewide action is needed for this.”

During a regular board meeting on May 20, CMC trustees first supported the measure, prior to its approval by the Colorado Senate. Now that it’s certified and on the ballot, the trustees again gave an official vote of support for its passage.

CMC Board of Trustees President Patty Theobald of Summit County summarized the board’s support for SCR 20-001 by stating, “For several years, CMC and the Board of Trustees have played an active role in educating local citizens and businesses of the detrimental aspects of the Gallagher Amendment, an idea that has outlived its usefulness. We know firsthand how the amendment arbitrarily reduces services in our communities, which affects the quality of life throughout the state, especially in small, rural towns.”

Theobald added, “We are grateful that a bipartisan majority of the legislature, including those representing CMC’s district, had the courage and foresight to act now before permanent harm is done to our schools and special districts, including CMC.”

Exploring alternatives

An additional agenda item at the July 29 board meeting involved US Bank’s departure and Glenwood Springs Resort Chamber’s recent relocation within the college’s central services building at 802 Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs.

“The process is just beginning,” said Matt Gianneschi, CMC chief operating officer and chief of staff. “We are exploring options and alternatives for CMC and the downtown Glenwood community that were previously unavailable.”