ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo — The 33-year-old Arapahoe County Jail is falling apart, but voters overwhelmingly decided not to fix it this year.
Two-thirds of voters in Tuesday’s election voted against proposition 1A, a measure that would have increased property taxes to build a new jail.
“We woke up this morning and we still have the needs we need to address and that’s the plumbing and the electrical and a space that was built in 1986,” Sheriff Tyler Brown said in an interview Wednesday.
Brown said county leaders haven’t made any decisions on how to move forward, but he favors going to the voters again in 2020.
“Our needs are going to worsen,” he said.
Odd-year elections are difficult for tax proposals, according to David Flaherty, pollster and owner of Magellan Strategies, a company that helps special districts poll on things like tax measures.
“[An} odd year is really the last time you want to go simply because odd-year November elections are dominated by older voters that are going to be less likely to support any tax increase,” Flaherty said.
“The voters that will participate in next year’s election will be younger,” he said.
According to Flaherty, younger voters have less financial worries as many don’t own homes or have kids. Older voters, especially those nearing or currently in retirement, worry more about income and are therefore a harder sell on tax measures.
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