Boulder voters approved a 20-year extension of a 0.25 percent sales tax to fund parks and recreation by a wide margin Tuesday.

With 64 percent counted out of an estimated 173,890 ballots cast countywide, 85 percent of city voters had voted to extend the tax, and 15 percent had voted against it.

The tax, which generated $7.1 million in 2012 for parks and recreation, wouldn't have expired until 2015. However, city officials wanted to put it on the ballot this year to provide more stability for budget planning.

City officials had asked the City Council to place the tax on the ballot as an undedicated tax with no expiration, but in a 5-4 vote, the council decided to keep it as a dedicated tax.

All the council members supported the tax extension.

"We are grateful for the voters' support," Kirk Kincannon, director of parks and recreation, said in a news release. "Our community's commitment to city parks, recreational opportunities and more generally, encouraging active lifestyles, is incredible. This revenue will allow us to continue to improve the services and facilities we offer."

Voters first approved the tax in 1995. It has paid for the purchase of Valmont City Park and the development of Valmont Bike Park and Dog Park, among other projects.

The 0.25 percent sales tax contributes 27 percent of the parks department's budget.


Possible uses of the tax include development of the southern part of Valmont City Park, athletic field improvements, neighborhood park improvements and recreation center upgrades, as well as maintenance of existing facilities.

The tax will now expire in 2035.