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Special District Emergency Services Funding

Concerning special districts that provide emergency services, and, in connection therewith, authorizing a district to impose an impact fee on certain new construction and to levy a sales tax to generate additional revenue for district services.
2024 Regular Session
Fiscal Policy & Taxes
Local Government
Bill Summary

Currently, a fire protection district ( fire district) may receive and spend an impact fee or other similar development charge in connection with a local government's imposition of such fee or charge to fund expenditures by a fire and emergency services provider. Section 1 of the bill repeals these statutory provisions for funding fire and emergency services and section 2 prohibits a fire district from , on its own authority , imposing a fee, rate, toll, or charge for responding to, combating, and or extinguishing a fire occurring within the district's jurisdictional boundaries, but continues to allow a fire district to charge or seek reimbursement for such services as authorized by separate state or federal law.

In place of the repealed funding mechanisms, section 3 authorizes a fire district to impose its own impact fee on the construction of new buildings, structures, facilities, or improvements on real property within fire the district's jurisdictional boundaries so long as the fee is imposed pursuant to a schedule that is :

  • Reasonably related to the overall cost of the district's services Legislatively adopted ; and
  • Imposed in accordance with a fee schedule that is legislatively adopted by the district's board and that applies to all similarly situated property. Generally applicable to a broad class of property; and
  • Intended to defray the projected impacts on capital facilities caused by the proposed construction.

A fire district impact fee must be set at a level no greater than necessary to defray the quantified reasonable impacts of proposed construction and cannot be used to remedy any capital facility deficiency that exists without regard to the proposed construction. Additional limitations on a fire district's authority to impose an impact fee pursuant to section 3 include that:

  • No individual landowner may be required to provide any site-specific dedication or improvement to meet the same need for capital facilities for which an impact fee is imposed;
  • An impact fee may not be imposed on construction for which an individual or entity has submitted a completed application for a development permit to an approving local government prior to the fire district's adoption of a schedule of impact fees;
  • A district shall not collect an impact fee before the issuance of a building permit by the approving local government;
  • Any person or entity that owns or has an interest in land that becomes subject to a fire district's schedule of impact fees, by receiving a building permit, has standing to file an action for declaratory judgment to determine whether the impact fee complies with the requirements and limitations set forth in section 3 and such a person or entity may also pay the fee and proceed with construction without prejudice to their right to challenge the impact fee in a subsequent legal proceeding; and
  • No later than 60 days before adopting an impact fee schedule, a fire district must provide notice and an opportunity to submit written comments to every municipality or county that includes territory that is wholly or party located within the fire district's jurisdictional boundaries and that may be impacted by the proposed impact fee schedule.

Notwithstanding any other provision of section 3 , a fire district may waive an impact fee on the development of low- or moderate-income housing or affordable employee housing as defined by the fire district. Section 4 gives ambulance districts identical authority to impose an impact fee on the construction of new buildings, structures, facilities, or improvements on real property within the ambulance district's jurisdictional boundaries, subject to the same requirements and limitations that are applicable to fire district impact fees pursuant to section 3. Sections 5 gives fire districts the additional financial power to levy a sales tax within the fire district's jurisdiction, at a rate determined by the fire district's board, upon every transaction or other incident with respect to which a sales tax is levied by the state. The tax must be approved by a majority of the eligible electors within the district voting at a regular special district election or at a special election that complies with section 20 of article X of the state constitution and related statutory requirements. Such a sales tax must be collected, administered, and enforced by the executive director of the department of revenue in the same manner as the state sales tax. Section 6 is largely duplicative of section 5 but contains different language regarding collection, administration, and enforcement, which will only become law if another pending bill does not become law. Section 7 gives ambulance districts identical authority to levy a sales tax within the ambulance district's jurisdiction as is provided for fire districts in section 5. Section 8 , like section 6 , is a duplicate sales tax provision which will only become law if another pending bill does not become law.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details