Use tax would go toward roads, buildings |

Use tax would go toward roads, buildings

VAIL ” A construction-use tax seeks to bridge a five-year, $25.8 million gap in Vail’s budget for roads, buildings and other “capital” projects.

Voters will decide at the polls Tuesday whether to pass the tax.

The 4 percent tax would apply to construction materials ” including steel, concrete, bricks and pipes ” that are used in the town and is projected to bring in $4 million in 2008.

The tax would apply to large projects ” the Ever Vail project alone could have to pay millions in the tax.

It could apply to small, home-improvements projects, too. But the next Town Council would have the ability to exempt small projects, and one councilman has suggested that the town should do that.

The capital budget includes projects such as:

– Rebuilding roads ($15.4 million).

– Rebuilding bridges ($3.5 million).

– Improvements to Town Hall ($2.4 million).

– Replace buses ($3.5 million).

– Parking structure maintenance ($3.9 million).

– Reducing interstate noise ($1.25 million).

Proponents say that the tax will put builders in line with the local sales tax, which is also 4 percent. They also say the tax is less burdensome to residents than a property-tax increase. A proposed property-tax increase to fund “capital” projects was rejected in 2002.

Still, some opponents say the town should turn to a property-tax increase instead.

Developers of large projects have not come out against the tax. Vail Resorts Development Company, who is doing the most development of any company in town, took no position on the proposed tax.

Gypsum and Eagle have construction-use taxes. A proposal for a construction use tax in Avon was shot down by voters in 2002.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

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