2022 Ballot FAQs

Below you'll find some answers to frequently asked questions about the questions voters will decide. For more information about these ballot questions, visit the 2022 Voters Guide.

Lodger's Tax FAQs

Does Littleton currently have a lodger’s tax?

Littleton is one of a handful of Denver metro area cities that has several hotels but doesn’t charge a lodger’s tax. A few cities and towns don’t assess a lodger’s tax because they don’t have hotels, such as Cherry Hills Village and Castle Pines.

The voters turned down a 3% lodger’s tax in Littleton in 2013 by a 2 to 1 margin. Why are we going for a lodger’s tax when voters already said no by such a huge margin?

The circumstances are much different today than they were nine years ago – Littleton has five newer hotels and millions of dollars more in hotel revenue than in 2013. Only the Hampton Inn was open at the time of the last vote on a lodger’s tax. This year the tax revenue is proposed for a specific purpose (supporting arts and culture amenities and tourism promotion similar to how other cities across the country dedicate the revenue), rather than for an unspecified purpose which was the case in 2013.

Will the lodger’s tax be assessed on people living in hotels for an extended period of time?

The lodger’s tax will only be charged to visitors staying at Littleton hotels and short-term rental homes for 28 days or fewer.

How many hotels does Littleton have?  

Littleton has four hotels – with a fifth (Woodbridge Suites) expected to open late summer – that would be subject to a lodger’s tax if the voters approve it this fall. 

How will the revenue from the lodger’s tax be distributed?

Discussions are ongoing on how the funds might be distributed among arts and culture organizations and activities. The model proposed by Littleton’s Arts and Culture Commission   recommends sharing the revenue among the Town Hall Arts Center, Bemis Public Library, the Littleton Museum, and Hudson Gardens as well as Littleton’s smaller independent arts organizations. Funds would also be directed for tourism and visitor marketing to help support Littleton businesses and attractions. Littleton is also one of several metro area municipalities that doesn’t have a budget for tourism promotion. If voters approve the lodger’s tax this November, city council – with the input of citizens and arts and culture stakeholders – will decide a more specific revenue sharing formula.

How much revenue will a lodger’s tax generate? Has a rate been decided?

In a July 19 study session, city council reached consensus on a five percent lodger’s tax rate – an amount that is estimated to generate $975,000. Five percent is just under the metro average of 5.24%.



Charter Procurement Policy Update FAQs

Why is a change being proposed to Littleton’s procurement policies?

A review of procurement policies of 17 home rule cities in Colorado revealed that Littleton’s outdated purchasing regulations do not ensure that supplies, equipment, and capital assets the city buys provide the best value to taxpayers. A capital asset is defined as any item that’s expected to last more than one year and cost more than $5,000.

Most notably, Littleton’s procurement regulations, which date back to 1959, require that any capital asset over $5,000 must be competitively bid. Further, Littleton is the only city that limits the length of a contract and is one of four cities that must accept the lowest price, without regard for product quality, vendor expertise, or timeliness of delivery. Each of the 17 cities mentioned above updated their procurement rules within the past 20 years.

What problems does the $5,000 bid threshold create?

No other city in the Denver metro area has a capital asset bidding threshold as low as Littleton’s. In 1959, $5,000 went a lot farther than it does today. Creating and publishing the bid documents, along with responding to bids takes anywhere from 60 to 120 days and delays several important purchasing decisions each year.

What is the remedy being considered?

The ballot language removes the capital asset procurement policy from the Charter and adds it to the City Code where it can be amended over time by council as circumstances change, with input from citizens through a public hearing.

If voters approve moving the policy from the Charter to the Code, how are taxpayers protected?

Moving the procurement policy from the Charter to the City Code will not reduce taxpayer protections. In fact, doing so will allow Littleton to maximize taxpayer dollars by selecting the vendors that provide the best overall value. If approved by Littleton voters, this solution will create efficiencies in the city’s procurement process, avoiding time currently spent preparing bids and waiting months for potential vendors to respond. Vendors often don't respond due to the complexity of the bid process. By requiring the city to accept the lowest bid, the charter doesn’t permit the city from taking product quality, vendor reputation, or timeliness of delivery into consideration. Taxpayers deserve an updated procurement process that takes more than just the lowest price into consideration.

DDA (Downtown Development Authority) FAQs

What is a Downtown Development Authority?

Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs) are quasi-governmental entities that provide organizational focus and financing to support downtown economic development and improvements. DDAs help facilitate partnerships between businesses, property owners, and local governments to champion the beautification, development, and improvements of a city’s central business area for the benefit of the city. DDAs have been successfully established and used in many Colorado cities, including Englewood, Castle Rock, Longmont and Golden.

Why now?

The City of Littleton, along with a steering committee made up of downtown stakeholders, kicked off a downtown district feasibility study and planning initiative in January 2022. The process involved property owners, business owners, and community members, and resulted in the identification of priority projects for downtown as well as the recommendation to create a Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to implement them.

How is a DDA funded?

Large projects and public improvements (such as streetscaping and shared parking facilities) are funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF funding is a mechanism for the DDA to utilize growth in property and sales tax revenue generated within the DDA. Those funds can then be used to support beautification, development, and redevelopment projects within the DDA. TIF funding is not a new tax; it merely allocates a portion of future property and sales tax revenue generated within the DDA for use by the DDA. The DDA can also be funded by a small property tax to support DDA operations and services, including project planning, safety and maintenance services, and public projects. The Littleton DDA is seeking approval for up to 3 mills in property tax, which is less than the statutorily allowed maximum and paid only by those property owners within the DDA boundary.

Which properties would be within the DDA boundary?

Proposed DDA Boundary Map(PDF, 1MB)

How are DDAs formed?

DDAs are formed by city council adopting an ordinance seeking the organization of the DDA via an election of the qualified electors within the boundaries of the proposed DDA.

As part of the decision to seek organization of the Littleton DDA, the City, along with the steering committee, have developed a plan to provide a road map for potential future improvements and investment in Downtown Littleton. The plan sets goals and strategies in five main areas:

  1. Improved Parking Experience;
  2. Well-connected Amenities;
  3. Beautiful and Welcoming Environment;
  4. Clean and Safe Spaces; and
  5. Business-friendly and Vibrant Experiences.

The plan will be further refined and adopted if of the DDA is approved. The TIF funds would be collected for the DDA for up to 30 years, and no more than 50 years. Click here to see a draft of priority projects for downtown [PDF].

How is a DDA governed?

Once a DDA is formed, it is governed by a 5 to 11-member board of directors appointed by city council.  A majority of the directors must reside in or own property in the DDA and at least one member of city council would be on the DDA board of directors.

Who can vote in the DDA election?

The organization of a DDA involves a group of electors different than most other elections. The electors qualified to vote in a DDA election are the residents, landowners, and lessees within the boundaries of the proposed DDA. Residents are persons who are United States citizens and residents of the State of Colorado who reside within the boundaries of the proposed DDA. Landowners and lessees who are persons can also vote, and entities (for example, a LLC or corporation) that are landowners or lessees may vote by designating a person to vote on their behalf. The DDA election follows the “one person/one vote” rule, where even though a person or entity may be qualified to vote in more than one way, a person may only vote once. For example, if an entity owns multiple properties within the DDA, that entity may only cast one vote through a designated person, and any person designated to vote on behalf of an entity may not cast an additional ballot.

How will the DDA election work?

Arapahoe County, on behalf of the City of Littleton, will run the DDA election as a mail-ballot election. Residents who are active registered electors and persons who are landowners within the boundaries of the DDA will receive a ballot in the mail. Other qualified electors will need to request a ballot and, for entities that are qualified electors, prepare a form designating the person to vote on its behalf. All ballots will need to be returned no later than 7:00 p.m. on November 8, 2022 to be counted. A majority vote of the ballots cast in the election is needed to pass any individual question.

Does a DDA have eminent domain powers?

DDA’s are different from urban renewal authorities, especially in that they do not have ability of eminent domain and cannot condemn properties within its boundary.