Mar 192012
 
Authors: Darin Atteberry

Every time you order a pizza, buy new shoes or purchase school supplies, you are helping to keep Fort Collins great.

Many of the city services that contribute to making Fort Collins one of the nation’s best places to live and go to school are funded by sales tax dollars –– bike lanes, recreational trails, bus services and neighborhood programs, to name just a few.

Of every dollar you spend, less than four cents comes to the city as revenue to fund community services. Even though this may seem like a relatively small investment, it is still vitally important that you know exactly what you are getting for your money.

This commitment to transparency is something that we take very seriously as city government. It is also a clear expectation set by our community. So much so that reporting on expenses and efficiency was included in the ballot language of our most recent sales tax initiative.

In November 2010, Fort Collins voters approved a .85 percent sales tax increase to support key city services. The tax initiative, known as Keep Fort Collins Great, named specific categories that would benefit from these funds and specified what portion of the revenue should be allocated to each. The ballot language also reinforced the city’s commitment to accountability and transparency by requiring an annual report of how the KFCG money is being spent within those categories.

In 2011, Keep Fort Collins Great generated $19.9 million and, as is consistent with the ballot language, those dollars were allocated to the following areas:
33 percent –– street maintenance and repair
17 percent –– other street and transportation needs
17 percent –– police services
11 percent –– fire protection and other emergency services
11 percent –– parks maintenance and recreation services
11 percent –– other community priorities as determined by City Council

You can learn about each of the 70-plus city services funded by Keep Fort Collins Great by visiting www.fcgov.com/kfcg, but here are a few highlights:

Trail Extension –– the extension that connects the Fossil Creek Trail from Cathy Fromme Prairie to the Spring Creek Trail at Spring Canyon Community Park was partially funded by Keep Fort Collins Great revenue.

Downtown Parking Study –– the study looks at parking conditions and key problems and, when complete, will offer recommendations to address downtown parking needs.

Transfort –– a portion of weekend Transfort services are funded by Keep Fort Collins Great dollars.
Parks Maintenance –– in 2011, $1 million of Keep Fort Collins Great dollars were used to keep our parks in good shape for you to enjoy.

As you can see, we are focusing these additional resources on services that directly impact citizens. We will continue to operate an efficient organization committed to constant improvement and transparency. And with your help, we are making sure to keep Fort Collins great.

Darin Atteberry is the city manager of Fort Collins.

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