Letter: Eagle County can’t afford tax increase | VailDaily.com

Letter: Eagle County can’t afford tax increase

Martin VandeVen
Vail CO, Colorado

When we received our tax bill for 2007 to be paid in 2008, we were in shock. I asked myself, how can young families and people with fixed incomes pay for the onerous tax increase? Our increase was 27 percent. Certainly our salaries will not increase 27 percent.

It is evident that our Eagle County Commissioners who have the authority to control the property tax increases by adjusting the tax levy downward, decided to do nothing and impose this enormous tax increase on the working residents of Eagle County. This places, yet, additional stress on those families who also must bear the increases in fuel cost, utilities, living cost and housing cost.

I cannot understand or think of a good reason why the commissioners, whom we trusted when we voted for them, would put the working residents of Eagle County through this. Are the commissioners so out of touch with the plight of the working residents in the county, or is it arrogance? Certainly they realized that residents would complain, but then, that would only last a short time and from the perspective of the commissioners they can live through that.

To get a better understanding of where the tax increases are, I compared the 2006 line items against those in 2007. The results are shown below:

The Town of Eagle adjusted the tax levy downward from 3.247 to 2.683 and was a bit compassionate, but our county commissioners were not. The fact remains, all the increases, except for one, are far greater than the increases in working family income which must be used to pay the tax increase.

I also compared the 2007 and 2008 Eagle County budgets and found there is no correlation between the increase in taxes as compared to budgets. The county budget increased 4.9 percent, whereas county property taxes have increased 32 percent. So where is the revenue going? Since our Eagle County Commissioners cannot be trusted to look after the best interest of the working people as demonstrated by the tax increase, we certainly must question whether we can trust them with the tremendous increase in property tax revenue as well the significant increase in sales tax revenue the county will receive. Again, what will our hard-earned money be spent on?

Just a side note, in the November 2006 election, the residents of Eagle County with a significant majority voted not to approve the early childhood tax. Guess what, early childhood programs are being funded in the 2008 budget in the amount of $1,451,165.

Another indication that the commissioners have their own agenda and that the voters’ input means nothing; the question of trust remains or are the commissioners are out of touch with the issues the working residents of Eagle County face?

Do we need commissioners with this mindset?

Editor’s note: Property taxes rose as a direct result of property values going up and the decision by many taxing entities ” not just the Eagle County Board of Commissioners ” to keep their property tax rates the same.

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