Your Taxes at Work

There are two primary ways that you directly contribute tax dollars to Boulder County:

Property Taxes

Boulder County retains a little more than one-quarter (28%) of your total property taxes. The remainder goes to school districts (54%), cities (11%) and special districts (7%). The county uses those funds to provide essential services directly to residents, as well as indirectly to residents through funding for local nonprofit agencies.

Property tax rates within Boulder County vary according to location within municipal and special district boundaries. The Boulder County Treasurer collects all the funds and then divides them between various governmental agencies and special tax districts. These districts include local school districts, fire protection districts, municipality and/or water district among others. In all, there are 88 taxing entities that receive a portion of all collective property taxes each year in Boulder County alone.

Sales and Use Taxes

  • Sales taxes: These are taxes collected at the point of purchase when you buy retail goods within Boulder County.
  • Use taxes: These are taxes assessed on motor vehicles during vehicle registration, and also on the purchase of building and construction materials collected when a building permit is obtained.

Sales and use taxes are collected by the State of Colorado and redistributed back to the counties and municipalities where they were collected. Boulder County receives less than 1 percent* of the value of all purchases made within the county. For more information on sales and use taxes in Boulder County, download the Sales and Use Tax Brochure.

*The total sales tax rate in Boulder County varies from location to location based on varying municipal sales tax rates. The sales tax rate for Boulder County government is 0.80 percent (8 cents on a $10 purchase) and applies to all purchases made within county boundaries.

Visit the county's Finance & Budget pages for complete budget information.

Where Do Tax Dollars Go?

The Boulder County tax dollars that you pay, whether through property taxes or sales and use taxes, help support key infrastructure and services such as:
  • Conservation & Sanitation
  • Elections
  • Open Space & Recreation
  • Public Safety, Judicial & Emergency Services
  • Transportation & Road Maintenance
  • General Governmental Operating Costs
Your tax dollars also help contribute to other services that collectively create a healthy community. Through funding supplied by your local taxes, in addition to grants, state and federal allocations, fees and other revenue sources, Boulder County government is able to offer:
  • Health programs that provide vaccinations, protect the public health and educate community members.
  • Community Services programs that enable career growth, encourage self-sufficiency, involve children, families and aging adults in beneficial activities, and promote financial stability and homeownership.
  • Housing and Human Service programs that protect the welfare of children and older adults.
  • Financial support to nonprofit organizations that are at the very heart of our community and provide essential services.
  • A countywide Sustainability Initiative to preserve the health of our environment into the future, including pollution prevention, waste reduction and energy and resource conservation.
  • Parks and Open Space programs that protect local habitat and provide beautiful places to catch a breath of fresh air and get some exercise.
  • Forest Health & Wildfire Mitigation efforts to help prevent catastrophic wildfires and keep properties and communities safer
  • Transportation improvements that help make our roads and transit programs better, safer and more accessible for all members of the community.

In addition to paying property taxes, voters in Boulder County continuously show their commitment to investing in their community by passing special ballot issues that endorse taxes for specific projects or services. These special tax funds include:

  • Developmental Disabilities and Health and Human Services: Funding for local nonprofits and programs that serve the developmentally disabled; funding to support health and human services programs that have suffered funding cutbacks from other sources
  • Worthy Cause:  Funding for capital improvement projects by local human services non-profit agencies
  • Open Space: Various taxes to support acquisition, trails and maintenance of open space.
  • Public Safety: A sales tax that provides funds for a jail expansion, construction of an addiction recovery center, and ongoing support for jail programs
  • Transportation improvements: Includes increased transit options, regional trails and bikeway shoulders
  • Human Services Funding:  Funding to local nonprofit agencies to supporting safety net services to low-income and/or at-risk or vulnerable county residents. 


"The health of our community as a whole depends on ensuring the well-being of all of our individual members. Your tax dollars contribute to a more vibrant, active and caring community for everyone by supporting a breadth of needs ranging from roads, trails and land use projects to programs that promote and protect the interests and health of our residents."

-Boulder County Commissioners


Sales and Use Tax


Sales and Use Tax