The Briargate Special Improvement Maintenance District (BSIMD) has been experiencing budget shortfalls for several years, resulting in a decline in the overall maintenance operations and appearance of the community. There may be a possible ballot question on the November 2021 Coordinated Election ballot for the voters within the boundaries of the BSIMD to create a new district with the same overarching boundaries and requirements. This is an effort to preserve community assets by having all properties that benefit share equitably in the district’s operational costs.
There will be Briargate Community Meetings hosted by District #2 Councilman Randy Helms at Library 21c on the following dates:
- 21 Oct 2021, 6pm
- 27 Oct 2021, 6:30pm
Councilman Helms will explain the upcoming GID ballot issue concerning inequality in Briargate housing taxes that will be on the 2 November 2021 Colorado Election.
Community Effort to Address Budget Shortfalls
The Briargate Special Improvement Maintenance District (BSIMD) is experiencing budget shortfalls. Of the 9,864 properties within the SIMD, only 7,603 currently pay the property tax to support BSIMD operations, while the rest of the properties do not. This is not equitable as 2,261 properties receive the benefits, including higher home values, yet they do not pay the tax. This has created a condition of inequity and subsequently a shortage of tax base to preserve neighborhood community assets. Over the years, there have been attempts to address the omissions, while continuing to maintain these public areas on a dwindling budget. Each of these efforts have fallen short, resulting in a decline in the overall maintenance and appearance of the community.
In 2018, then District 2 City Council Member David Geislinger held a series of community Town Halls to provide property owners a general update on the BSIMD with a focus on the history and resulting financial challenges facing the BSIMD. He called for citizen involvement and input to help determine the best way forward. A BSIMD Planning Committee was formed at his request and have met most months since to seek a solution. The group held four additional public meetings in 2019 at the C21 Library and used an online survey to continue the information and education process and gather citizen input.
The outcome of this process revealed a strong desire by residents for a pathway to get the district back to its original objectives and principles of equitable cost apportionment, sustainable maintenance operations, and sharing by all who benefit in order to ensure community asset preservation and sustain property values. There was no impetus to recover lost opportunity via an increased mill rate. Unraveling history was quickly replaced by a forward-looking approach to meet this outcome.
The formation of a new Colorado Springs Briargate General Improvement District 2021 (GID) could accomplish the desired result. The new GID would overlay the same outer boundaries and take over maintenance responsibilities of the existing BSIMD with the same 4.409 mill levy to fund operations, which annually is around $32.50 per $100,000 of property value. The 4.409 mill levy of the existing BSIMD would be set to zero (0). The taxed properties in the current BSIMD would not see an increase in property taxes while the previously untaxed properties would. This would ensure all benefiting properties share equitably in the operational cost of the new GID, resulting in an increased capability to preserve community assets and help sustain property values.
Briargate SIMD Presentation
An overview of the history and proposal:
In the News
- August 10, 2021, Gazette: Briargate residents to vote on property tax inequity issue
- Aug. 2, 2021, Gazette: Briargate residents to likely see property tax question on November ballot
- July 27, 2021, CS Indy: Briargate district measure, bound for November ballot, is a "Frankenstein" issue
- Sept. 3, 2019, Woodmen Edition: Meetings weigh funding options for Briargate Special Improvement Maintenance District
- Dec. 10, 2018, Woodmen Edition: Advisory committee looks at pros, cons of moving from SIMD to General Improvement District
About Briargate SIMD
The Briargate Special Improvement Maintenance District (BSIMD) is a local taxing and maintenance entity that was created by city ordinance in 1983 by the developers of Briargate to maintain the common areas that are generally bounded by Chapel Hills Drive, Woodmen Road, Briargate Parkway, and Powers Boulevard, and includes a subdivision next to Challenger Middle School.
The BSIMD’s purpose “is to provide for the maintenance of certain public improvements of general benefit to the residents of the district.” The public improvements, “may include parks, open space, trails, bicycle paths, landscaping, fencing, pillars, medians, entry islands, utility rights-of-way, irrigation facilities and associated water system improvements, theme areas and neighborhood theme signage,” located primarily, but not exclusively, on and along primary streets within the district.
The BSIMD is funded by a property tax levy on each parcel in the BSIMD boundaries. On average, each parcel owner pays $100 in annual property taxes to the BSIMD.
The maintenance of the common areas in the BSIMD is administered by the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department. SIMD maintenance is conducted by a combination of fulltime and seasonal park maintenance staff and contracted services.
- Briargate SIMD formation ordinance circa 1983
- City ordinance 83-163 that created the Briargate Special Improvement District and the imposition of taxes on real property wiithin the district.
Briargate SIMD Advisory Committee
A volunteer citizen advisory committee appointed by City Council oversees and recommends budgets and maintenance priorities for the BSIMD.
For more information, visit the SIMD Advisory Committee webpage.
What are you asking for residents to do?
We are asking residents and homeowners to become informed of the issues that face the BSIMD. It is unique in that not all homeowners are taxed even though their properties are within the district. Also, the BSIMD is forecasting funding shortfalls to cover maintenance and landscaping.
Why not exclude service to the untaxed properties?
The objective and principles of establishing the GID was and is to assure public community areas are maintained at a level higher than City standards for the benefit of all residents. The majority of this is along the major north-south streets between and including Briargate Parkway and Woodmen Road and the major east-west streets between and including Chapel Hill Drive and Powers Boulevard. It also includes the maintenance of miles of trails and open space. This maintenance preserves community assets, improves property values, and adds to the overall desirability of the area, so to exclude any because it is near or transects any of the untaxed areas would further impact the tax paying portion of the district.
Will all residential and commercial properties be taxed?
Yes. All properties that benefit from the GID will share equitably and be apportioned for the costs to maintaining the GID.
What types of properties will be exempt from District assessment?
Only properties that have legal tax exemption status such as churches, hospitals, Federal, State and City properties, schools, etc.
How will this change affect HOAs?
There will be no impact on Homeowner’s Associations (HOA). There are HOAs throughout the current BSIMD designed by and for a neighborhood, a complex, or a subdivision that provide a variety of benefits and services to those who live within each that are outside the scope of the BSIMD or the proposed GID.
Who can change the mill levy rate of either type of district?
Both the BSIMD and the proposed GID require voter approval to raise mill levies for operational requirements.