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Voters to decide how city parks tax money is used

Breaking Down Issue One on April 2 Ballot

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs voters will decide how part of the city's sales and use tax is used in the April 2 municipal election.

Issue One on the ballot asks voters about Trails, Open Space, and Parks. Currently, a portion of residents' sales and use tax goes toward TOPS. The money is used for park maintenance, open space purchase, park acquisition and administration. Members of the TOPS committee have specific breakdowns for how much money each of those gets.

Issue One asks to change the breakdown so some of the money used for park acquisition is also used for maintenance.

Leaders said the money will be used to maintain all parks, not just those acquired through TOPS tax money.

One park goer said the change in breakdown is a good thing.

"The parks are important and just getting land and then not being able to take care of them is irresponsible," Krina Rixman said.

The Trails and Open Space Coalition didn't support Issue One. According to its website, they think TOPS tax money could replace money from the general fund used to maintain parks. The mayor and City Council said that won't happen unless it is an emergency.

The TOPS tax ordinance was originally approved in 1997, and amended in 2003 and 2010.

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