Letter: No tax rebate for Minturn | VailDaily.com

Letter: No tax rebate for Minturn

Peter F. Runyon, Chairman,
Eagle County Board of Commissioners

I watched the Minturn Town Council meeting last night on television and feel compelled to respond to a statement made by Councilman Jerry Bumgarner.

Councilman Bumgarner suggested that the town of Minturn should consider a two-year rebate of taxes for Minturn locals to alleviate and offset the increased property values stemming from a Ginn development approval. I commend Councilman Bumgarner for recognizing the tax burden such a development would cause to the current citizenry and looking for creative ways to reduce such burden for locals. Unfortunately, I feel his comments are a clear misstatement of Colorado law.

For the last four years, I have been working diligently to find a way to provide local residents financial relief from the increased tax burdens caused by high end, second home developments. I have been looking for a legislative solution similar to Florida’s homestead rebate program. Unfortunately, my efforts have met with staunch resistance from those counties and special interest groups who do not feel the same tax sting from such second-home developments.

Absent a statewide change to our statutes and constitution, the county is precluded from giving tax refunds or abatements to locals only.

Specifically, Article X, Section 3 of the Colorado Constitution requires that taxes be uniformly applied upon all classes of property. Providing the current residents of Minturn with tax relief at the expense of the residents of a future Ginn development would certainly appear to be a non-uniform assessment of taxes that is constitutionally precluded.

Citizens of Minturn, I appreciate your interest and involvement in this process and would simply ask two things of each and every one of you. One, please vote regardless of your views on the Ginn proposal. This is your opportunity to be directly involved with the future and direction of your town. Two, please be fully informed in your vote. Do not vote under the mistaken belief that your taxes will be reduced through an annexation approval.

Do not vote simply to receive a tax rebate unless you have obtained assurances from your town council and their legal advisors that such a program is even possible. I have found that it is not.

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