Editor’s note: This article has been update to correct the type of businesses that would be taxed under the proposal.
Next year, Boulder’s Climate Action Plan Tax will expire.
Taxpayers in Boulder produced about $4 million yearly for climate and sustainability programs. When CAP expires in March 2023, there will be a funding gap of about $1.8 million.
In response, Boulder is proposing a new climate tax that would combine the CAP Tax with the Utility Occupation Tax that will produce about $5 million toward climate and resilience programs per year.
If this tax is implemented into monthly Xcel Energy bills, rates would increase for industrial business and commercial owners and decrease for Boulder residents. The annual residential tax is currently $42.95; with the new tax applied it would decrease to $38.20. Commercial businesses currently pay $241.29 each year; with the tax applied it would increase to $374.90. Finally, industrial businesses currently pay $704.83; with the tax applied it would increase to $1,389.89.
Through the new tax, “The city can simplify climate investments, tackle high-impact projects, better align with the scale of investment necessary and address inequities created by the current tax,” Boulder officials stated in an email.
This tax would fund programs and movements such as providing cash assistance for homeowners, fund energy-efficiency upgrades to businesses and landlords, start projects to support resilience and renewable energy development through microgrids and energy storage, expand electrical charging stations around the Boulder community and more.
Boulder will be sending out a survey this week to collect residents’ feedback on this tax proposal. Registered Boulder residents 18 and older can access this survey through a link that will be sent out via text message. This survey will be open through June 2. If Boulder residents are in support of this new tax it may show up on the ballot in the Nov. 8 General Election.
Emily Sandoval, a spokesperson for Boulder, encourages citizens to fill out this survey so residents can have a platform for their opinions to be heard by the city, so they have a say in how and what the city invests their money in, and ultimately, so the city knows what feedback residents have for climate change.