In a resounding voice that echoed heavy voter turn-out, Buena Vista voters rejected Ballot Issue 2A by a nearly two to one margin. The proposed lodging occupation tax ballot was defeated with unofficial totals of 476 “Yes” votes and 814 “No” votes.
Election turnout was up significantly from last spring’s town election for trustee and mayor. “We had 1,169 ballots cast in the regular April election. By 4:30 on Tuesday afternoon, we’ve received 1,240 ballots,” said Town Clerk Paula Barnett. “And by 7 p.m., 1290 ballots. We think our numbers are up because people got both state and county ballots and so they went ahead and voted both of them.”
The town had proposed that revenues raised by the proposed 2A would be used for capital infrastructure projects. The tax would have raised $211 thousand per year to be used to fund public safety equipment and facilities, open space and recreational areas and facilities, signage and way-finding, and town beautification. There is an existing 1.9-percent Chaffee County Lodging tax already in place, which is not affected by the ballot defeat.
As of Oct. 8, total registered voters in Buena Vista was 1,899. Election turnout was more than 65.3 percent. But Barnett said that because people could register to vote even on election day in Colorado, there won’t be a new count of registered voters until after the polls close on election night, so the number most likely will rise.