Vail residents to save on total property tax |

Vail residents to save on total property tax

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Eleven dollars might not sound like much, but some Vail Town Council members think it’s enough to send a mes-sage to residents that the town feels their economic pain.

The Town Council voted to exclude the abatement levy from its 2010 mill levy, meaning the town won’t collect about $11 for every $1 million home, or about $150,000.

The abatement levy makes up for mon-ey the town should have collected the pre-vious year based on successful property tax appeals, said Kathleen Halloran, of the town’s finance department.

The town eliminated the abatement levy in 2007 after property taxes were up about 45 percent, but that was when the town was “rolling in money,” Councilwoman Kim Newbury said.

Newbury said doing it now might have more impact than it did back then when the “economy had not gone south,” she said.

Councilman Andy Daly wanted to decrease the mill levy by 5 percent, which would have amounted to about $18 in sav-ings per $1 million property. Town Attorney Matt Mire told council members that wouldn’t be wise because Colorado’s TABOR law would require the town to hold an election in order to raise the mill levy again.

Daly said some property tax bills have gone up as much as 60 percent, and it isn’t fair of the town to keep the mill levy the same when valuations have gone way up.

He said a mill levy reduction would “reflect a real sensitivity and appropriately so.”

” I think that we need to be sensitive to the tremendous economic environment we’re in now,” Daly said.

Councilwoman Susie Tjossem ques-tioned the significance of the reduction. She recognized it had symbolic meaning, but she questioned whether people would see much relief in saving $11.

Councilwoman Margaret Rogers said people spend $11 on a glass of wine in a bar. She said it’s not the right time for the town to be cutting revenue.

“I think it’s right to say, ‘We need that money,'” Rogers said. “It’s politically very easy to say, ‘Let’s give people money back.'”

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