Letter: Unreasonable taxes in Eagle Co. | VailDaily.com

Letter: Unreasonable taxes in Eagle Co.

Buddy Sims
Eagle County Property Taxpayers for Common Sense
Vail, CO Colorado

An Open Letter to Eagle County Citizens:

A public meeting was held Feb. 8. in the Singletree Community Center with 147 citizens attending and 11 Eagle County taxing authorities out of the total 77 County Taxing Authorities (TAs). Fourteen of the TAs do not collect property taxes from us and 34 of the 77 have opted out of TABOR requirements that impose limits on yearly property tax increases to protect the homeowners. Colorado Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) is principally a revenue limit, not a spending limit. By 34 of the county TAs opting out under TABOR in the county ballot issue in 1995, TAs can raise, retain, or lower your mill levies up to their discretion and some State Statutes every year.

The County Assessor stated every two years through the county re-appraisal cycle, his staff will revalue your properties (next in 2009). At the meeting, we were told to expect another large property value increase in 2009 that will raise our property taxes in the general neighborhood of over $38 million as we experienced in our 2007 property taxes due in 2008.

One taxing authority stated they noted community comments of support in the Vail Daily and then voted to fund a project from their general fund monies. Glad to know one taxing authority in Eagle County is spending taxpayers’ money on projects controlled by a special interest group that writes letters to the Editor at the Vail Daily. This should make the Vail Daily feel good about their readership and impact on our community.

We further learned that Colorado Mountain College did not change its 3.997 mill levy because if they change it in Eagle County they must change the mill levy in five other counties per state statute. In other words, Eagle County taxpayers ” with our higher assessed values and no CMC decrease in mill levy ‘ are funding a larger portion of five other counties that house CMC facilities.

It is up to the county taxpayers to confront these high TA’s mill levies. Failure to adjust them sufficiently down to compensate for higher assessed property values will result in unreasonable taxes. If we sit back, then we will get what we deserve – higher taxes! As one TA told me, I am just whining about paying 43 percent more property taxes in 1 year. Give me a break; I don’t mind paying more taxes each year but how about a 5-10 percent yearly tax increase?

I ask every concerned taxpayer to start attending Eagle County Commissioner meetings and during open public comment ” to stand up and ask for a tax rebate and for the county to repeal in the November 2008 ballot where 34 TAs opted out under TABOR. Further, I ask all concerned voters to start attending all of the TAs board of director meetings and express the hardships this $38 million property tax increase is causing across our county.

To join our concerned citizens group established on Feb, 8, please contact the Eagle County Property Taxpayers for Common Sense through Chuck Taylor, CPA, at 970-949-7103 or catavoco@vail.net Watch for news of an upcoming public meeting in about two weeks.

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