Vail Daily letter: Support A and B
April 23, 2014
I would like to encourage my fellow property owners within the boundary of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District to vote "yes" on Questions A and B.
Voting "yes" on Question A will allow the district to issue $25 million in general obligation bonds to pay for needed improvements to the district's wastewater facilities.
This option will add $2.11 to the annual property taxes we pay now to the district if your home has a market value of $500,000. The alternative would have the district raising our wastewater fee $4.99 a month for a single family equivalent. Personally I would rather pay for cleaner and necessary wastewater discharge, using a nearly negligible increase in my property taxes — which are already deductible on my federal taxes — rather than increasing my monthly user's fee — which is not deductible.
Voting "yes" on Question B will allow the district to retain unexpected revenues without having to go through a wasteful accounting exercise under the TABOR provision of the state's constitution. Most often, these revenues are grants that actually assist with the operation of the enterprise and reduce the cost for the users of the enterprise. I can also say, categorically, that voting "yes" on Question B will in no way invalidate our right to vote on future tax increases proposed by the district.
I served as a county commissioner for 12 years in a rural Colorado county and know of very few counties, towns or other jurisdictions that have not approved this common sense path. Just think about it. How could a small block of voters like those of us in the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District nullify a provision of the state's constitution?
I do not believe that delivering services like clean drinking water and acting responsible with wastewater discharges are political decisions. Let's do what's right for the watershed and for us as customers and approve Questions A and B on this ballot.