2015 TABOR Surplus

What is TABOR? 

The Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) is part of the Colorado Constitution (Article X). It has a provision that imposes revenue restrictions on state and local governments. Voters may lift this provision and have done so in more than 87 percent of municipalities in Colorado. 

These revenue restrictions remain in place in Castle Rock. When revenues exceed TABOR limits in any given year, the Town has two choices:

  1. Refund the money in some manner
  2. Ask voters to keep and spend the money on local services (up to a year retroactively)

2015 TABOR surplus 

The Town ended 2015 with a $714,580 TABOR surplus. Various factors contributed to the surplus, including strong sales tax growth and contributions for the construction of the North Meadows Extension and Philip S. Miller Park.

In November 2016, voters approved a measure that allowed the Town to keep and spend the funds on police, fire, emergency medical services and transportation purposes. 

Council allocates funding in line with community priorities

To implement the will of voters, Town Council in April 2017 allocated those funds to transportation and public safety projects. Because the revenue is considered “one-time” money, it was allocated to specific projects, rather than ongoing costs such as personnel.

For details, view expenditures by department in the tabs below. As of mid-year, most of these purchases were complete.

  1. Castle Rock Police Department
  2. Castle Rock Fire and Rescue
  3. Public Works
Item Cost
Active Shooter Body Armor/Shields
Already, Castle Rock Police provides officers with level II soft body armor that is flexible and able to be worn in a semi-comfortable fashion under uniform shirts. However, this body armor does not protect officers from rifle fire. This new body armor is a level IV hard body armor that will cover the front and back of the officer’s upper body, along with a level III hard helmet. This armor will provide the officers a higher level of protection should they be required to respond to a call where a rifle is likely to be involved. 

In addition, the department purchased four level IV ballistic shields to be deployed in each patrol sergeant’s vehicle. These shields will be a critical tool for use at incidents where officers find themselves in vulnerable positions due to the use of or threatened use of any firearm up to and including a rifle. 
$95,360
Rifle Lights (Surfire Scout Rifle Light)
Often times, officers have only seconds to evaluate the threat posed by an assailant. During this brief period of time, the officer also has to evaluate the surroundings to ensure there is no risk of an innocent bystander being injured or killed by their actions.

Traditionally, rifles have been outfitted with handgun lights that are not wholly designed for use on a rifle system. Although these lights provide some illumination, they have fewer lumens than what is ideal for a rifle-lighting system. They require the operator to manually activate the light with their support hand, resulting in a momentary loss of contact with the fore-end of the rifle. It also requires the officer to split their attention between the threat and activating the light. 

Lighting systems designed for rifles deployed in law enforcement environments are typically equipped with a pressure-sensitive pad, which is used to activate the light. Pressure sensitive pads allow rifle operators to remain focused on the threat while maintaining their grip to provide illumination of their surroundings.
$22,200
K-9 Unit Ballistic/Stab Resistant K9 Armor Vest
Police Service Dogs perform a function that cannot be duplicated by man or machinery. It is the mission of the Castle Rock Police Department to equip Police Service Dogs with similar ballistic protection as police officers. One of CRPD's K-9 teams still needs such ballistic protection. The cost of a fully integrated system is $2,950.
$2,950
Electronic Speed Signs
Castle Rock Police currently utilizes the electronic speed signs in different ways. Speed signs will be used in the collection of data for the Town’s Traffic Calming program. Data collection helps the department focus on traffic-related problems such as speeding, volume and congestion. This allows the department to allocate officer resources more efficiently for select enforcement. Signs are also used to notify citizens of street closures, events and other traffic-related incidences around Town. Additional signs will allow CRPD’s Traffic Unit to monitor more areas in Town where issues arise. 
$24,000
LIDAR
The department has purchased two LTI TruCAM Laser systems (LIDARS). The TruCAM collects and stores a complete chain of video evidence for speeding, along with a high-resolution image that identifies vehicle make, model, license plate number and identification of the suspect driver. This purchase will maintain and increase Traffic Safety in the Town of Castle Rock by allowing the police department to upgrade its current inventory of speed-detection devices.
$12,980
Crash Data Reader
The department purchased a BOSCH Crash Data Recorder (CDR), allowing members of the Traffic Unit to retrieve data through the Onboard Diagnostic II (OBDII) port on the vehicle. Utilizing the CDR Kit, the Traffic Unit will be able to accurately determine speed and collect related vehicle data on crashes that have serious injury or a fatality involving a vehicle that has the OBDII data. This will enable officers to produce more efficient and accurate data collection. 
$3,500
Mobile Fingerprint Units
Having the ability to immediately and in real-time, positively identify a person in the field has huge benefits to the police department. Local research shows most of the criminal activity seen in Castle Rock is committed by suspects who reside outside of our Town. Thus, CRPD has no real record of those individuals. This technology will allow officers to more effectively identify, charge and hold accountable those who commit criminal activity. 
$5,100

November 2016 election

Whether to have the election or issue refunds was a Town Council decision. Per Ordinance 2016-020, the following question appeared on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot:

SHALL THE TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK BE PERMITTED TO RETAIN AND EXPEND UP TO $714,580 OF EXCESS 2015 REVENUE FOR POLICE, FIRE, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, AND TRANSPORTATION PURPOSES AS A VOTER APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE UNDER ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION (TABOR)?

Unofficial results for the election were as follows:

YES/FOR: 22,210 (69.63 percent)

NO/AGAINST:   9,687 (30.37 percent)

Because a majority of voters said yes to the question, the Town will retain and expend the funds as approved.

Public input

Thank you to the numerous residents who provided feedback for Town Council on this topic during May and June. View the feedback Council received.