Eagle County residents decide to spend or save | VailDaily.com
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Eagle County residents decide to spend or save

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado

Death and taxes may be the only certain things in life, but nothing says taxes can’t cause death. Once again the deadline to file our taxes ” or an extension ” has come and gone and the frantic hassle of endless forms and mundane arithmetic has gone with it. For all the government-employed hands that reach into our wallets each year, many of us will eventually get some cash back in the form of a tax return.

But what happens when you reach in the mailbox and pull out that check? Given the size of one’s return the question goes from ‘how am I going to survive with the government taking so much?’ to ‘what am I going to spend all this money on?’

Many locals must make that choice as tax returns and economic stimulus checks come trickling through the mail or are directly deposited via electronic filing.

What to do, what to do?

Being responsible and using the money to pay bills or fix up the house may not sound like much fun, but it’s an investment that will pay off in the end.

“We have some home improvement projects we want to do,” said Nicole Magistro, owner of The Bookworm in Edwards. Actually, she and her husband were surprised that they are getting a tax return at all this year, she said. Whatever they don’t use on home improvement will go into their Roth IRA, she said.

Vail resident Ryan Palmer and his wife plan to try and save their joint return for future use, but Ryan doesn’t really see that happening. He said he’s foregoing a spring road trip, which he could have spent the money on, because of the poor economy and high gas prices. He also owns a house that needs some work.

“I’ll probably end up spending it on a water heater or boiler, but I have no plans for it right now,” Palmer said. “It’ll get spent, I’m sure.”

This winter took its toll on many cars in Colorado, and Edward’s resident Tommy Bennett’s 2002 Chevy Tracker was one of them. With his $500 tax return he plans to replace the shocks and windshield on his car for a possible road trip.

“If I have any extra I’m going to Oregon to go snowboarding,” Bennett said.

Aria Spa and Club employee Katie Kline has big plans for her $800 return.

“I was thinking I’d like to hire a male stripper for me and all of my friends to come up to Vail … because I’m really sick of looking at guys with goggle tans. I’d kind of like to see one with an all-over bronzie glow,” Kline said.

Finally, somebody that recognizes the joy of buying new toys. Sports Authority employee Drew Barber has no plans to save his return or spend it on home repairs, instead he’s going to upgrade the suspension on his expensive downhill bike. Not only is he getting $700 back from the government, he’s got an additional $1,200 coming his way just for being married ” part of the government’s economic stimulus package.

Ahhh, the glories of looming recession. Surely new bike parts won’t use up all that money, though.

“The rest will go to beer money,” said Barber, or “I might take advantage of some of this half-price sushi at some of these off-season deals.”

And then there are those who receive the ultimate slap in the face ” having to pay the government more money. Edwards resident Julia Arterburn, 24, is a nanny and a florist and due to discrepancies between the two jobs she ended up having to pay the government $2,500.

“I get nothing. I get no money. I get to go on no trips,” Arterburn said. “I plan on spending money like I am getting some back though.”

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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