Opening the floodgates |

Opening the floodgates

Gotta hand it to the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District: If you live in Vail, you are paying for them to upgrade the piping, one way or the other.

You can do it by approving their tax hike to fund revenue bonds. That will cost residential owners $55 more per $500,000 of property value. Or they’ll just raise the water rates to cover the cost.

Such a deal.

But they say they have to upgrade those 30-year-old cast iron water mains, which are breaking more and more frequently. And they want to add storage capacity to Black Lakes Reservoir and Eagle Park Reservoir.

So you are paying, one way or the other. These folks must be the envy of the Vail Recreation District, Vail Town Council, Eagle County and every other municipality that thinks it needs a tax increase to provide one vital service or another.

Vail’s recreation board was persuaded, barely, to trim three tax hikes to one on the spring ballot. The one would pay off debt on Dobson Ice Arena improvements, for a relative pittance. The two held back for now address upgrades at the Vail Golf Course and also the clubhouse.

Vail the town has its eyes on raising the property tax to help with the public construction phase of the renaissance.

One Eagle County commissioner, Tom Stone, has raised the idea of a countywide recreation tax. Another, Arn Menconi, has expressed interest in a social service levy.

The school district, turned down last fall for a tax hike for this and that, including a new bus garage, at some point will be compelled to ask for the means to raise bonds for a new high school.

What else? Surely that’s not it for the lineup seeking just a bit more from property owners’ pocketbooks. After all, the sales tax is topped out and property taxes are so low, especially when viewed from the vantage of all the neat things the governments could provide with just a little larger piece of that.

Property tax, particularly in Vail, is very low. And sales tax is basically through the roof, or at least charged up to the hilt.

The sales pitches for the voters should get entertaining indeed. It is interesting that so many governmental entities think now is the time to go for it. Seems to us that the voters showed signs of turning down the spigot when they rejected the school district’s tax increase last fall after passing everything asked of them for a handful of years.

Unless you have the leverage of Eagle Water and San, well, don’t count on the voters going so easily with this flow.


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