By Matt Whittaker / NewsBreak Denver
(Boulder, Colo.) The Boulder City Council gave preliminary approval to add a proposed climate tax to the November ballot.
In a unanimous vote last week, council members gave initial approval to a ballot measure asking voters to decide on an ordinance to replace $4 million in annual climate taxes with a new tax of at least $6.5 million.
A final council vote on the measure will take place on Sept. 1, the Boulder Daily Camera reported.
“In the upcoming election, Boulder voters will see two climate-related ballot items from the city: one to authorize the new climate tax and another to allow the city to borrow against the climate tax,” a city newsletter said Friday.
Initially, the council considered a $5 million minimum climate tax, but increased worries about wildland blazes after last year’s Marshall Fire in Boulder County prompted the city council to increase its proposed climate tax, eliminating a reduction in household climate spending from the original proposal.
Under the new proposal, the current $42.95 residential rate would rise to $49.66. The prior proposal decreased the cost to $38.20.
Commercial customers would see an increase on their energy bills from $292.42 to $487.37, and industrial customers’ tax would jump from $1,084.11 to $1,806.85.
The extra $1.5 million could go toward grant programs for home and business projects that reduce wildfire risk, such as vegetation removal, roofing and siding replacement and fence reconstruction. The proposal also includes a dedicated fire-rescue team focused on wildfire mitigation and burying power lines in risk prone areas.