Letter: Clarifying Vail’s property taxes
Vail CO, Colorado
Richard (Carnes), just to clarify a couple of points in your column on Tuesday, April 22:
You asked “So, which is it?” referring to the $25 to $50 estimated incremental tax to be paid on a $1 million home and whether there are 10,000 or 20,000 taxable properties in Vail. The exact amount is dependent on several things that are not known at this time, primarily the outcome of property assessments that are under appeal at the state level and the exact cost to process rebates. If none of the appeals are successful and rebates could be processed at no cost, the amount would likely be $50 on the $1 million home. If, on the other hand, all the outstanding appeals go as the taxpayers requested and our current estimate of costs to process rebate checks is accurate, the amount would be $25. Most likely, the amount is somewhere in between. It is not a flat amount per property, but an amount computed based on the property’s value. The number of taxable parcels in Vail is 15,861 ” somewhere between the 10,000 and 20,000 you computed.
Your estimate of a $500 rebate was computed by dividing $500,000 by 1,000 homes based upon the State of Colorado saying there are fewer than 1,000 homes in Vail.
Although I agree $500,000 is a reasonable estimate of the incremental property tax to be collected, it is not accurate to divide by the number of homes. Commercial properties and vacant land make up approximately 30 percent of the town’s total property tax dollars and would be entitled to their 30 percent of any rebate. Residential property includes duplexes/triplexes and condominiums as well as single-family homes. My guess is the state’s number you quote is old and does not include multi-unit dwellings, commercial space, and vacant land although those properties are clearly in our tax base.
With regard to the conference center funds, the expenses “incurred along the way” were all incurred while the tax was in effect and were incurred for activities associated with the proposed conference center. Since the conference center sales and lodging taxes were rescinded, the money sitting in the bank has grown from $8.2 million to $9.0 million at the end of 2007. I apologize if I did not make that point clear when you called me about the conference center.
Please contact me if I can clarify anything else.
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