Vail Daily letter: Former ‘slums’ need services
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and the creation of Urban Renewal Districts is a bit of Colorado law used to redevelop blighted or slum areas. It is a tool municipalities have to generate revenue to update infrastructure by essentially freezing property values at a certain level and siphoning off all increases in taxes for the next 25 years or so. Recent coverage in the Vail Daily has only given one side of the story. Towns may enact TIF without any input from other taxing districts or public votes. Hire a consultant, have a couple hearings, call an area blighted and viola! Although overly simplistic, there really is little that can be done to stop the process. Your paramedics, firefighters, teachers, water plant operators, and a whole host of others that rely on property tax to provide service get a letter saying that taxes for that area are frozen.
Would anyone call the core of Avon, Crossroads, Lionshead or the RED development in Eagle a slum? Services must continue to be provided to the area and as the slum transforms into Solaris, Arabelle, and the new Avon core, the need for services increase with no associated increase in revenue. HB 1375 does not go far enough but it is a good start.
Accountability with some requirements to share the excess funding is a small price to pay to redevelop the blighted slums of Eagle County.
CEO, Eagle County Paramedic Services
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