Tax increase proposed to fund GJ events center

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.(KKCO) Grand Junction residents will vote in April on whether to increase the city's sales tax from 2.75 to 3 percent to fund a 5,000-seat event center.

The proposed $62 million event center for Grand Junction will host concerts, rodeos and sporting events, but it's now up to the voters.

Mike Anton, a member of a citizen committee formed to look at the event center proposal believes this is a worthwhile investment.

"We need to figure out a way to stabilize our own economy," said Anton. "This is just a small piece of the puzzle. It is not necessarily the end all towards our economic stability, but it’s a piece of the puzzle."

For the next six to eight weeks, Anton and others will campaign for the center.

"We started out today with [the Grand Junction Economic Partnership], tomorrow we present to the Grand Junction Chamber, we look at Western Colorado Congress tomorrow afternoon,” said Anton.

They’re hoping to change the minds of residents who feel the city has bigger problems.

“The schools, education, community services, fix our roads,” said voter Joyce Saunders, when asked what she thinks the city should focus on.

Anton believes the center will help fix those problems.

“This will hopefully be a revenue generator," said Anton.

The center is predicted to increase downtown retail sales by $30 million, which will generate sales tax that goes directly to the city.

“If we can start enticing people to spend their money here, and leave their money here, that makes Grand Junction that much stronger," said Anton.

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