Arapahoe County Sales and Use Tax

On Nov. 4, 2003, the electors of Arapahoe County voted to approve a resolution imposing a 0.25 County Open Space Sales and Use Tax on the sale of tangible personal property at retail and the furnishings of certain services within the County. This tax is equal to 25 cents on every $100 spent. The tax is effective Jan. 1, 2004 through Dec. 31, 2023 for the purpose of preserving open space in Arapahoe County. 

With the current tax set to expire in 2023, Arapahoe County has been undertaking a reauthorization process to assess when to reauthorize the tax and what—if any—changes should be made to the program.

Lifelong Program Impact 

Leaf Chart2004-2020 Total Percentage Grants, Joint Projects, Shareback

Total Open Space Sales Tax Revenue: $359,702,774

Total Funds Awarded to External Agencies: 

  • Shareback: $177,542,757
  • Grants: $43,811,330
  • Joint Projects: $35,418,136
  • Total Awarded: $256,772,223

Percentage of Revenue Given Directly Back to Community: 71%

Four-Year Trend Total Annual Sales and Use Tax Collected 

  • 2017: $26,195,185
  • 2018: $27,912,677
  • 2019: $30,220,551
  • 2020: $31,470,493

20% Percent Increase of Sales and Use Tax Collected Since 2017

Impact on the Community

The Open Space Sales and Use Tax has allowed the County and its municipalities and special districts to fund:

  • 15 parks and open spaces, 4 trailheads, 20+ miles of trails are owned and maintained by Arapahoe County 
  • Hundreds of additional local parks, trails, and open spaces are funded by the Open Spaces program 
  • 71% of total funds are distributed directly back through Shareback, Grants, and Special Projects 
  • $257 million dollars have been awarded in lifetime of program (since 2003) to municipalities and special district partners 

Parks, Trails, Open Spaces 

  • 70 miles of trails built or improved 
  • 168 park, trailhead, heritage-area projects supported 
  • 31,000 acres of open space conserved 

Heritage and Education 

  • Fairgrounds community events and annual County Fair 
  • 17 Mile House Farm Park educational tours and cultural events 
  • CSU Extension education programs and outreach 
  • Environmental education partnerships 

Protection and Restoration 

  • Conservation easements 
  • Riparian corridor restoration 
  • Regional trail connections 
  • Recreational safety improvements 

Local Agriculture 

  • Active grazing program 
  • Farming, hay and wheat production