Voters de-Bruce, OK broadband and pot taxes
Marijuana, broadband and measures to opt out of constitutional revenue limits were popular among voters in city and county ballot measures statewide during this week’s elections.
Voters in 17 cities and two counties on Tuesday decided they wanted local control over broadband decisions, not including one community that approved going into debt to pay for installing high-speed fiber optic lines.
That brings to 30 counties and 86 municipalities that have opted out of statewide provisions that took away local control on broadband decisions. Grand Junction did the same a few years ago.
As a result, several of them are taking the next step toward actually getting high-speed internet that traditional providers aren’t offering, said Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Network, a national initiative started by the Minneapolis-based Institute for Self Reliance.
“We have seen overwhelming support for local internet choice in Colorado,” Mitchell said. “These cities and counties recognize that they cannot count on Comcast and CenturyLink alone to meet local needs, which is why you see overwhelming support even in an off-year election.”
In Fort Collins, where voters overwhelmingly approved going into debt by up to $150 million, Comcast spent nearly $500,000 battling the measure. The cable television provider did something similar in Longmont, which has since created its own internet service provider company.
Elsewhere in the state, two more counties, Eagle and Gilpin, approved a special sales tax on medical and retail marijuana sales, along with 10 cities and towns across the state. Only one town, Foxfield, a small community in the Denver metropolitan area, rejected a pot tax.
At the same time, two cities in the San Luis Valley, Alamosa and Monte Vista, rejected allowing medical and retail marijuana sales within their