Buckley, Stavney clash on taxes | VailDaily.com

Buckley, Stavney clash on taxes

Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyCounty commissioner candidate Jon Stavney, right, discusses why he should be the next county commiossioner while his opponent, Debbie Buckley, listens during a debate Wednesday at Donovan Pavillion in West Vail.

VAIL, Colorado ” While county commissioner candidates Jon Stavney and Debbie Buckley agreed that county government needs more transparency and that transportation needs work, they differed on almost every other key election issue at a candidate forum this Wednesday.

Stavney, a Democrat and former Eagle mayor, said he wants the county to continue providing the services and resources that will allow families and workers to stay in the county.

Buckley, a Republican and former Avon Town Council member, tried to draw out the differences in their philosophies.

“My opponent says the county is on the right track and I don’t agree with that,” Buckley said at the forum hosted by area Rotary Clubs. “I believe we need to change course.”

When asked if the county should have reduced the mill levy rate last year when assessed values spiked, Buckley said, “Absolutely yes.”

She promised to lower property taxes, but said she would still be committed to spending money to “make the county great.” She opposed the current county board’s spending for what she called “pet projects,” such as a marketing study for the airport or the early-childhood development program.

Stavney said he hesitated to cut county revenues at a time when the growing area is facing so many problems with traffic, housing, child care and other services.

The county needs to have a better public discussion about where that money should be spent, but he urged voters to look at how much of the county actually takes from all the property taxes.

Of the taxes paid on his family’s Eagle Ranch home, only $100 of it went to the county. He also pointed out his record as Eagle mayor ” “I’m the only commissioner candidate, who when given the chance, reduced the mill levy,” he said.

Avon never reduced their mill levy during Buckley’s eight years on the council.

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