Need for three tax hikes questioned
AVON ” Backers of three proposed tax hikes may face a skeptical public this fall.
A brief, unscientific survey of locals shopping at Avon’s City Market showed there’s good deal of resistance to the idea of higher tax bills.
“I don’t want more taxes because I’m poor,” Marie Crouch said. With her 10-day-old son on her arm, Crouch said “We give those guys enough money already.”
Julie Smith doesn’t have kids, and has no plans to have any at any point in the foreseeable future.
“I’m not really in favor of it. I’m more indifferent to it than anything,” Smith said.
“It’s important to have good schools,” Neil Podoll said. “But taxes are already high enough.”
Tom Gagnon said he could be convinced about the need for one tax hike.
“Yeah, I think I’d support the day care tax,” Gagnon said. “My kids are out of day care, but I can see helping out with that.”
Ian Bauer, who works at City Market, was out collecting shopping carts while a reporter and photographer were talking to shoppers in front of the building. He overhead the questions, and quickly added his thoughts.
“It’s ridiculous,” said. “It’s already so expensive to live here.”
One resident said three tax hikes in one election is simply too much.
“Individually, they might make sense,” Mike Balk said. “Collectively, it might be over the top.”
Balk is especially skeptical of the school district’s proposed tax hike. “That seems a bit excessive,” Balk said. “The amount of building, it feels like too much.”
Balk’s wife, Marcine, said she’d like to see more money for teachers and longer school hours instead of more buildings.
Watering the flowers outside the store, Barbara Schweer said she might vote for a tax hike, but not the kind that’s being proposed.
“I’m not sure about the child care tax,” Schweer said. “We need schools, but I don’t know. I would vote for a teachers’ pay raise.”
Dana Hellstrom said it might be tough to pass the child care tax.
“I’m worried if there would be responsible licensing and appropriate use of the funds,” Hellstrom said.
In the end, those backing the tax hikes will have to convince voters they’re getting their money’s worth.
“Nobody likes paying more taxes,” Gagnon said. “That’s the bad part.”
There will be three local tax increase ballot issues this fall. They are:
– Eagle County School District: $128 million* for a new high school at Edwards, remodeling Eagle Valley High School, numerous repair projects, a new elementary school, buying technology, buying land, and money for the Eagle Valley Charter Academy.
– Eagle Valley Library District: As much as $15 million* to expand libraries in Avon and Eagle, and possibly build a new library in Gypsum.
– Eagle County: As much as $3 million per year (but probably about $2 million) to support existing child care and preschool programs, and possibly create more.
* The dollar amounts represent the amount of money that can be borrowed with the increased tax revenue.
Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or email@example.com.
Vail Daily, Vail Colorado
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