Vail Daily letter: ‘No’ on Red Cliff tax
Red Cliff voters beware! Our town government is attempting, for the second year in a row, to raise our mill levy. They say they need $20,000. I’m wondering why they’ll need any money now that they’ve decided to sell town property.
The board passed an ordinance whereby they sell town property that’s not used for “governmental” purposes, to property owners having property encroaching on, or next to town properties. I believe there are currently three sales being considered. One of these sales would provide at least $20,000. The manner in which these sales are to take place is by a so-called “sealed bid” process, where adjacent owners submit “sealed” bids, but the first to bid is allowed to see the other neighbor’s bid and can then out bid them. Really? At the meeting Oct. 21, it was stated that a higher bid may or may not win the bidding process.
This mill levy increase would last five years. With one year remaining at current valuations, and a recent increase in real estate sales, more than likely, the next valuations will be higher. If this ballot initiative were to pass, coupled with higher property valuations, property owners in Red Cliff would be paying much higher taxes.
One reason they’re asking for more money is for repairs and maintenance on equipment. I believe they’ll have plenty of money from selling town property to cover these costs.
The other reason the town says it needs more money to purchase new street lights. Last year’s ballot initiative, which failed, included two threats, one that we would no longer be able to have street lights. To make good on that threat, our street lights were removed. First, Xcel was just going to remove the lamp heads, but the town became crosswise with Xcel and the light poles were cut down, and electrical leads removed. If we’re ever to have lights, it will cost even more money. The Xcel guys, as well as some politicians, and citizens were mystified why the town didn’t seek out a grant to upgrade our lights.
The other threat from last year was to raise water and sewer rates. Upon failure of that initiative, the Town Board manipulated the budget (certainly a questionable action), whereby expenses were moved from the general account to the enterprise account. Our water and sewer rates went from $123 to $147 per month.
The town has no website whereby video and/or audio recordings are posted. The opportunity to go to the town office and sit and listen to a recording does not exist. It costs $25 for a recording of a meeting. The minutes are so condensed that we cannot really tell what’s being discussed and/or decided.
I encourage a “no” vote on the mill levy increase.
Also, Red Cliff voters, if you want to ban pot shops in Red Cliff, you need to vote “yes” on that ballot initiative.
In the dark, in more ways than one.