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City of Brighton Press Releases

Posted on: August 25, 2017

City Council to consider use tax ballot question at Sept. 5 meeting

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, Brighton City Council will consider whether or not to approve a resolution placing a ballot question to the voters at the Nov. 7 election to allow the city to impose a 3.75 percent use tax on personal property like equipment, fixtures, furnishings, and machinery on which no sales tax has been collected.

The use tax would serve to provide residents with such things as new and improved park and recreational amenities, public safety, code enforcement, refurbished and maintained streets, as well as general services crucial to keeping the city operating safely and efficiently.

Under TABOR, in order for the City to impose use tax, voter approval is required from its citizens. It is important to note, this measure would only relate to the purchase, storing, using or consuming of tangible personal property within the City of Brighton, purchased at retail for which sales taxes have not been paid. Recognizing that the bulk of the revenue that will be generated from the use tax will come from new businesses, the City Council intends to focus its resources there and enact the necessary legislation to impose the use tax only on businesses that purchase new equipment, furnishings, machinery, fixtures and other personal property.

The Finance staff has estimated that approximately $4 million of use tax could be collected from businesses in 2018. The additional revenue collected will be affected by the economic trends and growth of businesses in Brighton. Understandably, the amount of revenue will be greater in years when new or existing businesses in Brighton invest in personal property, like equipment and machinery.

Since 1992, Brighton’s population has more than doubled. As a result of this positive growth, the cost of providing essential City services and facilities is also increasing. Brighton has become a regional commercial hub, with increased job opportunities, significant community amenities, retail opportunities, commerce and more. In order to provide the services residents have come to expect, and even expand services in the future, the city has explored additional revenue sources and concluded that expanding its existing use tax will not only bring in much needed revenue, but also put it in a comparable position with other cities in the metro area.

Use tax is common among many home-rule municipalities, whose residents have approved similar ballot questions, including the following in the Denver metro area: Northglenn, Thornton, Commerce City, Wheat Ridge, Lafayette, Englewood, Littleton, Arvada, Aurora, Westminster, and Boulder.

The Sept. 5 City Council meeting is open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m. at Brighton City Hall, 500 S. 4th Ave. Brighton, CO 80601. For more information, visit

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