Letters: Eagle Co. taxes making it worse
Vail CO, Colorado
Thank you Arn, for explaining to us that we have a housing crisis, (as we have been discussing for years now). The only thing I disagree with is that you and the other two commissioners are very much to blame for this crisis. You are not the forward-thinking, problem-solving politicians you would like us to believe you are.
I personally witnessed the length of time it takes to get a project in front of you, only to be voted down. In my case, two years, $365,000. of engineering and surveys, studies, reports, meetings, to be told no. And what was this project for? A nuclear reactor? Maybe a high-rise office complex? Nope, a little old lumber store in Dotsero.
A project that was to be built by an affordable home supplier that builds new homes for under $200,000! And you and Peter Runyon ran them off! They even offered to build two duplex units for Habitat for Humanity, and supply them with building materials “at cost” for as long as they operated in Eagle County. (Just for the record, this was 84 Lumber, the same company that provided over $6 million in housing to Hurricane Katrina victims.)
I can only imagine what a lengthy and costly process it would be to try and get an affordable housing project approved by you three commissioners. Surely, it would be enough of a headache to prevent anyone from trying in the first place. My guess is it would take at least three to four years to get your vote.
Secondly, I just visited the county Web site to find that my property taxes are increasing about $2,800 a year. The county could have reduced our mill levy to help keep this increase down, but you three voted to keep it all. You just helped increased my monthly “nut” to the tune of more than $233, just for taxes! Do you honestly think this is going to help people afford a home?
You guys are talking out of both sides of your mouths. Tax-and-spend politicians are making it quite a bit more expensive to live here. If you truly want to work towards a solution to this problem, streamline the process of approvals, offer tax and financial incentives to builders to do these kinds of projects, work towards bringing in new businesses to broaden our tax base and thus relieve the burden of taxation from the homeowners, and stop driving away businesses that could work with you to solve these issues.
If you want to really help, get out of the way!.