Vail Daily column: Urban renewal law works
May 25, 2014
Dear Gov. Hickenlooper:
Please veto HB 1375, a piece of legislation that threatens the success of the current Urban Renewal Authority law in boosting Colorado's economy and tourism.
As the town of Vail's finance director for the past 12 years, I can speak directly to some of the benefits realized through our URA, the Vail Reinvestment Authority. When the authority was put into place, the Lionshead area of our town was deteriorating economically as well as physically. The Lionshead tax increment financing district provided financing for public improvements that made redevelopment feasible for private developers including Vail Resorts. The new businesses that went into the area as a result brought new guests and gave a boost to the area economy. Many of those guests are out-of-state and international visitors, clearly bringing new money to our state, county and town.
Since the end of 2007, when the first businesses opened in the redeveloped property, those businesses have generated over $12 million in sales tax for the state ($4.2 million), county ($2 million) and town ($5.8 million).
In Vail, developers and subsequent owners of redeveloped properties continue to pay their property taxes in full and 100 percent of tax increment financing revenue is used for public infrastructure improvements. In addition, existing properties in the area enjoy an increase in value. Since the end of 2005, when the Lionshead TIF district was established, assessed valuations from properties within the district that are not part of the "increment" have increased by 63 percent and generate $1.8 million more in property tax annually for all taxing entities including the school district ($791,000), Eagle County ($323,000), town of Vail ($179,000), and Colorado Mountain College ($152,000).
The current urban renewal law is working for the state's tourism economy and the political subdivisions that support it. Please veto H.R. 1375.
Judy G. Camp
Chief administrative officer and finance director, town of Vail
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