Government Affairs Monthly Report
|North Routt Fire District Awaits Election Results for More Funding
The North Routt Fire Protection District sent out more than 600 ballots as part of a special election. In addition to voting in new board members, voters are being asked whether to increase the mill levy to hire more staff and whether they support additional taxes to offset future financial impacts from the Gallagher Amendment.
In North Routt, Gallagher has resulted in a 28-percent decrease in property tax revenue compared to 2010, or about $70,000. This year, North Routt will pull $20,000 from its reserves to beef up their general operating budget to about $185,000.
If voters in North Routt approve the Gallagher ballot issue, the district will be able to collect additional property taxes annually to offset the impacts from Gallagher. In 2017, the impact from Gallagher was about $3,700.
The other tax question on the ballot is a general property tax increase that would generate about $141,000 each year. The owner of a $300,000 home would pay $200 to the fire district each year instead of $113. The money would be used to hire a second, full-time firefighter as well as two, part-time firefighters.
SSBR Poised to Participate in Wildfire Awareness Campaign
SSBR got some nice press last week from the Steamboat Pilot:
The Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors, in conjunction with the Routt County Office of Emergency Management and the Colorado State Forest Service, will be providing a 12-part series on wildfire protection and mitigation through tips and information that will publish every Wednesday and Sunday in the Steamboat Pilot & Today beginning Wednesday, May 2. With the dry winter that Routt County has experienced, the risk of wildfires is significant, and the goal of the series is to provide residents with the tools and knowledge they need to protect their property and family by taking steps in preparation of a possible fire.
State News CO Legislature Begins Task of Redistricting
With a 2020 census right around the corner set to give Colorado an eighth Congressional seat, there is a widespread belief among leaders in both parties and from advocates for unaffiliated voters that Colorado's redistricting and reapportionment processes must be reformed to increase the competitveness of legislative and congressional seats. The following Senate Concurrent Resolutions (SCR) refers this reform concept to the 2018 ballot for Colorado voters. Today those resolutions passed on second reading in the Senate.
SCR 18-004, sponsored by Senate President Grantham (R-Canon City) and Senator Fenberg (D-Boulder), amends the state constitution to create an independent congressional redistricting commission that is responsible for redrawing the U.S. congressional districts after the census. The commission is made up of 12 members that will develop a congressional districts map that uses a variety of factors, including competitiveness. The map must be approved by a super majority (8) with a minimum of 2 unaffiliated members.
SCR 18-005, also sponsored by Senate President Grantham and Senator Fenberg, amends the state constitution to create an independent legislative redistricting commission that is responsible for redrawing the state senate and state representative districts after the census. The commission is made up of 12 members that will develop a congressional districts map that uses a variety of factors, including competitiveness. The map must be approved by a super majority (8) with a minimum of 2 unaffiliated members.
The Colorado Association of REALTORS® Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) supports both senate concurrent resolutions. CARPAC has also supported this concept through the Fair Districts Campaign. The LPC believes this legislation would give Colorado voters a chance to determine if a more fair and neutral process for redistricting and reapportionment should be instilled in Colorado. The changes to the existing line drawing systems could increase the likelihood of making legislative and congressional seats more competitive because potential legislators would have to appeal to a broader array of voters who maintain diverse opinions on issues that come before the U.S. Congress and the State Legislature. This is a first in the nation type of reform to legislative and congressional map drawing that will reduce the likelihood of gerrymandering. It is the culmination of several diverse stakeholder groups working together to give all Coloradans whether they are Republican, Democrat, or Unaffiliated voters a voice in how the lines should be drawn.
Federal News - NAR Meets with Lead Exposure Initiative
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is taking action to address lead contamination across America by inviting his colleagues and fellow Cabinet members to join with EPA in developing a federal strategy to reduce childhood lead exposure. NAR, along with a broad stakeholder coalition, recently met with Tim Epp, the director of this initiative, to discuss this action and related areas of concern.
The purpose of this initiative is to develop a federal strategy to reduce childhood lead exposure and eliminate associated health impacts and builds on Administrator Pruitts calls for a renewed effort to update our nations water infrastructure, especially in regard to lead in drinking water systems.
CFPB's Latest Request for Information
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued the likely last notice in a series of Requests for Information (RFIs) examining how the agency handles consumer complaints and inquires.
Since July 2011, the CFPB has received more than 1.5 million consumer complaints, which the agency aims to respond to in a timely and understandable manner by communicating with the provider of the consumer financial product or service. The agency received more than 200,000 consumer inquiries in 2017, which allows consumers to ask questions about financial products or services, submit a complaint, or check the status of a complaint. The agency will provide educational materials and tools, and other relevant government resources, in response to consumer inquiries. In this RFI, the agency is seeking feedback on how to improve these processes, such as the adoption of web chat systems to support submissions.
The CFPB has issued a number of other RFIs on various agency practices in order to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency. NAR will be submitting comments on the RFIs and encourage feedback from members wishing to weigh in on these important issues anonymously. For more on the CFPBs RFI efforts, including future requests, please visit this page on the CFPB website: Click Here