Schools take one-third of Eagle County property taxes
EAGLE, Colorado – Around 20,000 active voters will determine whether the school district’s proposed tax increase will pass, says Teak Simonton, Eagle County’s clerk and recorder.
This November’s election is mail-ballot only, and you’ll automatically get a ballot only if you’re an active voter, Simonton said. The ballots are scheduled to be mailed next week. You had until Monday to register to vote. You can activate your voter status right up to election day.
“You can even activate over the phone,” Simonton said.
Call them and they’ll walk you through the process, she said.
• You’re an active voter if you voted in last year’s election
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• If you didn’t, you’re inactive.
• You should have received a postcard from the Clerk and Recorder’s Office asking if you want your status changed from inactive to active.
• To be reactivated, you have to return that postcard, or contact the County Clerk’s Office.
• You should have received your postcard in January.
•If you did not respond, you should have received another postcard in June.
Simonton and her staff sent out around 7,000 postcards to inactive voters, asking them if they want to become active. They’re gotten about 1,500 back as undeliverable, she said.
Right now, Eagle County has 19,000 active voters, down from around 24,000 total voters in the last election.
What taxpayers pay
Local schools consume three times more of your property tax dollar than any other taxing entity, according to the county’s financial records.
Eagle County’s property owners pay $206 million a year in property taxes, says Karen Sheafer, Eagle County treasurer.
Of that amount, the Eagle County School District takes 31.5 percent of property taxes – $64,864,359.
The next two biggest property tax bites come from Eagle County government ($17,848,964, 8 percent) and Colorado Mountain College ($14,488,691, 7 percent).
The school board is asking Eagle County voters for a permanent $6 million property tax increase, saying it would cover the cuts they’re facing in state funding.
Local schools have shed $9 million and 100 jobs over the last two years, stemming from cuts in state funding.
Proponents say the tax increase would cost residential homeowners $92 a year on a $500,000 house.
It would cost commercial property owners three times that, under Colorado’s property tax regulations.
Residential property is taxed at 7.96 percent of its assessed value. Commercial property in Colorado is taxed at 29 percent of its assessed value.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.