Avon: Traer Creek owes property taxes | VailDaily.com

Avon: Traer Creek owes property taxes

Matt Terrell
Avon, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado ” The developer of Avon, Colorado’s Wal-Mart shopping center, Traer Creek LLC, owes the county more than $300,000 in property taxes after successfully protesting its assessment, but it shouldn’t have a big effect on Eagle County public schools that depend on tax money.

The developer contested the assessed value of its property, arguing that a parking garage at Traer Creek Plaza, valued at around $6 million, should be tax exempt as part of a metro district.

The problem was that the garage wasn’t deeded as part of the metro district, said Eagle County Treasurer Karen Sheaffer.

The valuation was appealed, went to court, and the judge ruled that Traer Creek could pay taxes plus interest on the lower assessed value, which is $14 million without the parking garage, but it must have the garage deeded to the metro district by April, Sheaffer said.

The unpaid taxes were made public on the delinquent property tax list in the Vail Daily because the judge hadn’t reached a decision by the publishing date, and Sheaffer didn’t want to rule out being able to hold a tax lien sale if needed, she said.

The change in property taxes won’t have a big effect on the school district, which is funded through property taxes.

Phil Onofrio, chief financial officer for the school district, said the amount missing from Traer Creek is a small amount of the $1.4 million in taxes the school district had expected this year but didn’t receive because of changes in valuations.

“We collected $1.4 million less than we should have,” Onofrio said. “Next year, state law allows us to increase our taxes by that amount and make it up. So, we collect too little this year, we make it up next year. It won’t really effect us.”

When the school district is doing its audit, it will simply show that their fund balance is lower than expected, Onofrio said.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 970-748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.

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