Revenue sharing talks continue downvalley |

Revenue sharing talks continue downvalley

Kathy Heicher

There’s no sales-tax, revenue-sharing deals being cut between the towns of Eagle and Gypsum just yet. The talks are ongoing at the staff level, even as the Eagle Town Board continues to plow through its review of a potential big-box store development.”Jeff and I are talking,” said Eagle Town Manager Willy Powell of Jeff Shroll, his Gypsum counterpart. “We have outlined some parameters for revenue sharing, and we’ve discussed alternative ways to frame an agreement.”Last month, leaders from the two towns met and agreed to discuss further sharing sales-tax revenues. The intent is to help the towns to deal with the impacts of commercial development by sharing sales-tax revenues based on the assumption a big-box store in Gypsum, for example, would cause traffic in Eagle. If a store is built in Eagle, Gypsum’s shops might lose business.

A revenue-sharing agreement would also put towns in a better bargaining position when dealing with major retail developers, who are sometimes inclined to do some “jurisdictional shopping” for the best deals on incentives and fees.The talk is timely, with developer Merv Lapin taking his Red Mountain Ranch project to the town of Eagle. Lapin is proposing a mixed-use project immediately east of Eagle, with 450,000 square feet of commercial space between I-70 and Highway 6.Gypsum is proposing a revenue-sharing formula with a 60-40 tax split. The community that lands the big-box store would keep 60 percent of the subsequent sales-tax revenues, and the other would receive 40 percent.Shroll said Eagle is seeking a different sort of split if the big-box store is located in Gypsum.

“It needs to stay 60-40,” he said. “The hosting community still has impacts. They must provide fire protection, police service, traffic signals and road improvements.”Powell said the towns have outlined parameters for revenue sharing and are discussing alternative ways to frame an agreement. And Lapin says he’s keeping an eye on the negotiations from afar.”That’s a deal between the town of Eagle and the town of Gypsum. I have interest in both areas,” he said. In addition to the Red Mountain Ranch property, Lapin has an interest in property in both towns.”My objective is to do Red Mountain Ranch first. Then, if that doesn’t get done, possibly talk to a retailer about going down to Gypsum,” he said. Talk of a big-box store going elsewhere is all “speculative,” he added.

Both Shroll and Powell said the challenges of revenue-sharing include the constraints of the state’s taxpyaer’s bill of rights law, which allows only a year-to-year-agreement that might not survive changes in town boards. A long-term commitment would require voter approval, and the revenue-sharing concept might be a tough sell to tax-paying citizens in either town.”We’re taking our first crack at a legal document and trying to figure out how to get through the hurdles,” Shroll said.Eagle Mayor Jon Stavney said revenue sharing will come up at a future Town Board meeting. A decision by the Eagle Town Board on the Red Mountain Ranch project is expected in May.Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism