Minturn will keep tax increase, I’m sure
Vail, CO, Colorado
The Minturn Town Council refused to lower our mill levy, or discuss a refund, during a recent work session and refused to put me on its agenda until maybe September because it wants to drag this out and wait. It thinks we will forget about paying high taxes. The council reduced Ginn’s payments to Minturn almost immediately after the annexation by hundreds of thousands of dollars. It did not wait when Ginn asked. Why wait when I ask? Because it knew that it could force the citizens of Minturn to pay Ginn’s share.
Mayor Hawkeye Flaherty stated that Eagle County is considering a refund of some of its mill levy. Maybe we should have let Ginn go to Eagle County because it can help us better than Minturn can help itself.
Hawkeye made a mistake when he admitted that Eagle County has already been working on its mill levy. How come the county can start talking about the mill levy, but Minturn can’t?
Minturn needs to tighten its belt now and reduce pay and positions. Minturn has a lot of room for a more efficient government, and we need a good leader, which we lack, to make the tough calls that will improve our services to the citizens at the same time reducing our taxes. Minturn will see about a 35 percent increase in property tax revenue in 2010. It does not have to wait for more official numbers from the Eagle County assessor.
Some Vail officials turned down raises. Rob Katz, Vail Resorts’ CEO, reduced his pay. But good-old-boy Minturn took raises, bonuses, etc., during a down economy.
Some Minturn Town Council members complained about my Web site giving out their primary residence property valuations (public information). Two of their concerns: Hawkeye, house not in his name, claims he rents his primary residence from his dad. Jerry Bumgarner admits that the condo he lives in and runs his business from (should be commercial but is taxed residential) is not in his name but is in two other people’s names. Not sure why they are upset about it except that it also points out that some of their valuations did not go up but down or rose less than 35 percent, or they do not pay a primary residence property tax.
Personal note: Off-camera I was personally attacked verbally by Jerry. Not one of his words pertained to the mill levy, and no other council member stopped him. This is why I will always stand up to this council, because I believe that they are immoral and unethical when dealing with the Minturn residents. Never should a public official belittle or attack residents when they come before them in pubic meetings or anywhere else for that matter. Stick with the facts and the matter at hand.
Fact: Ginn reduced payments to Minturn by hundreds of thousands of dollars. That money could have gone to building a sidewalk-bike path in south Minturn, with extra money to spare, and could have lowered our mill levy.
Fact: As of now, Minturn wants to take the extra 35 percent higher taxes from the hard-working residents of Minturn with no 35 percent rise in additional benefits to the residents.
All my information comes from public information or from the council itself. The Minturn council doesn’t like a transparent government or accountability, but I do. Public officials need to be held to a higher standard than us.
Watch my Web site for more information: http://www.minturntimes.com. This is going to get good.
The Vail Valley’s real estate market has long been an unusual one, with very expensive sales accounting for a large share of the market’s dollar volume. That means a few sales can have a large impact on volume.