Daily Editorial: County shouldn’t take it all | VailDaily.com

Daily Editorial: County shouldn’t take it all

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

“We’re trying to set the example,” Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi said recently while describing the county’s budget plans for 2008.

If so, it’s precisely the wrong message to the rest of the local governments that stand to gain big revenue boosts from property tax assessments that rose on average 40 percent this year. That’s right, 40 percent.

Eagle County and the others do not need to reach into property owners’ wallets by so much, even if legally entitled to their windfall.

County leaders pretending 2008 will be an “extremely tight year” are being misleading at best. Eagle County is wealthier than some entire nations. Local governments across the nation would kill for our county’s “tight” times.

The county, and other municipal governments, should take a smaller share of the property tax windfall to come and return some of that bounty to the taxpayers by cutting their property tax rate.

In short, we’re not buying the empty-pockets posture from one of the richest governments in America. It’s insulting, frankly, when governments in many other parts of the country really are experiencing lost revenue from local recessions. The county does not need to duck properly asking voters for a bond measure for jail expansion that a recent secret survey revealed the public was not convinced the county really needs. The county should do a better job of making the case than simply reaching into our pockets to fund, like it or not.

The county commissioners, and other local elected officials, need to better consider the “tight” finances of many of their constituents who have seen their property values ” and resulting tax bills ” soar.

Our representatives need to pay a little more attention to the needs of those they are supposed to be representing. Taking the full increase is wrong.

The commissioners ought to set a better example.

” Don Rogers for the Editorial Board

Support Local Journalism