The Steamboat Springs Education Fund (SSEF) is a nonprofit, independent corporation that administers the proceeds of the half-cent sales tax—five cents on a $10 purchase. The half-cent city sales tax was originally approved by Steamboat voters in 1993 to fund “public k-12 educational purposes.” The tax was extended by voter approval in three subsequent elections. In 2009, voters extended the tax and expanded the purpose to share a portion of the proceeds of the tax with other Routt County public schools.
Grants are awarded to public schools and nonprofits in Routt County through a competitive grant process managed by the Education Fund Grants Commission (Commission) and approved by the EFB.
Grants must benefit K-12 public education in Routt County and be in line with the Fund’s mission. In 2017-2018, direct-to-school grants were approximately 92% of granted funds, Innovation and Community Grants were approximately 4%, 3% went to Collaborative Grants, and 1% was used to fund administration.
The Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board hopes to renew the half-cent sales tax by ballot initiative in 2018, becoming effective in 2019.