Jeffco News Briefs: County receives $1.1 million for youth activities

Property taxpayers to receive TABOR refund checks

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/22/22

Jeffco and the other member counties in the Metropolitan Football Stadium District are receiving a share of $41 million, thanks to the Denver Broncos’ recent franchise sale.

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Jeffco News Briefs: County receives $1.1 million for youth activities

Property taxpayers to receive TABOR refund checks

Posted

Jeffco receives $1.1 million for youth activities from Broncos franchise sale

Jeffco and the other member counties in the Metropolitan Football Stadium District are receiving a share of $41 million, thanks to the Denver Broncos’ recent franchise sale.

The $41 million will go toward youth activities across the Denver area.

Jeffco’s $1.1 million check is for the county’s unincorporated areas, as municipalities will receive separate checks, stadium district officials told the Jeffco commissioners on Sept. 20. For instance, Golden will receive $587,000, city officials confirmed on Sept. 22.

Jeffco is one of seven counties that comprises the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, which built Empower Field at Mile High. The district levied and collected a voter-approved 0.1% sales tax from 2001 through 2010 to finance the stadium’s construction, Director of Stadium Affairs Matt Sugar said.

Sugar and Don Johnson, Jeffco’s representative on the district board, explained how the district’s lease agreement with the Broncos includes a requirement that a portion of franchise sales go toward the membership counties, to be used for youth activities.

The Walton-Penner ownership group bought the Broncos this summer for $4.65 billion, with $41 million going toward the seven counties. Sugar and Johnson said the district decided to apportion funds based on the percentage of sales tax received each county and municipality from 2001-2010.

Because unincorporated Jeffco’s sales tax revenues made up approximately 2.7% of the $289 million the district collected, Jeffco receives $1.1 million of the $41 million.

Commissioners Lesley Dahlkemper and Andy Kerr were very excited, with the former saying, “This is the best news I’ve had all week — possibly all month.”

Dahlkemper clarified that this won’t be subject to the TABOR cap, and wondered whether the county could use some of it toward youth mental health efforts. She and Kerr anticipated partnering with local municipalities and stakeholders on how best to use the funds.

“When our kids thrive, our community thrives,” Dahlkemper continued.

Sugar and Johnson said there was no set definition for “youth activities,” describing how those who wrote the requirement in the lease agreement were trying to be “as broad as possible.”

Kerr hoped Jeffco could be creative with its portion. While there’s no time limit to spend the funds, he committed to having a plan in place by late 2023.

“The Denver Broncos truly are a regional team … and that’s a huge economic benefit for those of us in the metro area,” Kerr said. “But, it’s rare that the economic benefit gets returned … in the form of a check like this.”

Property taxpayers to receive TABOR refund checks

Those who pay property taxes in Jeffco will receive a TABOR refund check, county officials have confirmed.

In 2021, Jeffco received $17.3 million in revenue above the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Amendment revenue limit. Thus, the county is required to refund that money back to its 213,000 property taxpayers in 2022.

Taxpayers will receive an equitable share of the $17.3 million refund. The average check amount will be about $80, and 88% of property taxpayers will receive a check for $80 or less.

While some refund checks will be $1 or less, officials believe it’s important to be as equitable as possible.

Elected officials could’ve applied a credit to 2022 property tax bills, but believed that mailing refund checks was the most direct and transparent way for each taxpayer to receive a fair share of the refund, officials stated in a Sept. 12 press release.

Adopted by voters in 1992, the TABOR Amendment requires governments in Colorado to refund revenue collected above the TABOR limit for a given fiscal year or seek voter approval to retain the revenue. It applies to all levels of government in Colorado. For more information, visit jeffco.us.

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