Eagle, Gypsum talk revenue sharing
EAGLE COUNTY – With a potential, big-box-store developer knocking on Eagle’s door, elected officials in Eagle and Gypsum are doing some serious talking about sharing sales-tax revenue.At a recent, the Eagle Town Board and Gypsum Town Council showed interest in pursuing a revenue-sharing agreement. If the elected leaders move from talk to an actual agreement, it could set a precedent for other Colorado cities and towns.Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll said such an agreement could solve several problems. Most notably, the towns could off-set the strains of development.For example, if a big-box store is built in Gypsum, traffic would increase in Eagle. If the store is built in Eagle, Gypsum business would likely suffer. A revenue-sharing agreement might also discourage developers to hop from town to town seeking better incentives. “Revenue sharing allows both towns to be more cautious about what incentive packages may or may not be offered to a big box,” said Shroll.Eagle is in the midst of reviewing the proposed Red Mountain Ranch project. The mixed-use project, on the eastern edge of Eagle between Interstate 70 and Highway 6, would have room for a big-box store like Wal-Mart or The Home Depot in Avon. The primary developer, Merv Lapin, also owns parcels in Gypsum’s Airport Gateway commercial park, and partial owns a gravel-pit property between Eagle and Gypsum.
Eagle Town Trustee Kraige Kinney said there is already a perception among some citizens that if Eagle turns down the Red Mountain Ranch development, the project will move to Gypsum’s GatewayShroll suggested any revenue-sharing formula be kept simple. For example, the town with the “big-box” store would keep 60 percent of the sales-tax revenues and the other would receive 40 percent. “Both towns would see a fairly healthy boost to their respective economies … 40 percent (of sales tax revenues) is better than zero percent,” Shroll said.Both Shroll and Eagle Town Manager Willy Powell emphasized any revenue-sharing agreement would involve new tax revenues. Existing sales-tax revenues would not be mixed into the equation. Further, Shroll suggested any commercial operation under a certain size (such as 20,000 square feet) would not be subject to the revenue-sharing agreement. Large, big-box, anchor stores typically draw in a bundle of smaller businesses to the same area.Eagle Mayor Jon Stavney suggested if a revenue-sharing agreement is reached, the towns might consider earmarking those funds for a mutually-beneficial use, such as a new interchange on I-70 serving the county airport. The Colorado Department of Transportation officials recently told the towns that the state has no money in the foreseeable future for such a project. Vail Colorado==========================================