Colorado Springs Ballot Issue 2C results: Voters poised to reject changes to TOPS tax

Andrea Chalfin/KRCC News
Prospect Lake in what is now Memorial Park in Colorado Springs was filled in 1890 for overflow from the El Paso Canal. July 2021.

Voters in Colorado Springs appear to have rejected changes to the city's sales tax designated for trails, open space and parks, known as TOPS.

The measure was referred to the ballot by Colorado Springs City Council and would have doubled the current TOPS sales tax, as well as extended the sunset date to 2041 and changed how the funds were allocated.

The city estimates there's about a $270 million backlog of needs in the park system and was looking for more flexibility in how funds collected through the sales tax are used.

Under the proposed new allocations, critics questioned if there would be enough attention paid to acquiring new open space. The city had added to the resolution that they intended to spend 75 percent of the allocated open space funds on acquiring and developing new land.

The current voter-approved TOPS tax is 0.10 percent, or about one cent for every $10 spent. It's set to sunset in 2025.