Vail Daily letter: ‘No’ on 5A | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: ‘No’ on 5A

I am writing to oppose the Eagle-Vail Metro District 5A Bond Referendum and Tax Increase (5A), a $23 million tax and debt increase to continue over 30 years. Rents too will increase as a result of 5A. The primary reason for 5A is to build a “shiny new golf clubhouse” several blocks from the current first tee and to demolish the current clubhouse.

A compelling reason to oppose 5A is the lack of rigor, decision analysis, or sound judgment used by the Eagle-Vail Metro District Board to place 5A on the ballot. Governments make bad decisions and waste tax dollars when they fail to use disciplined business-like judgment.

Residents should know that the current Whiskey Hill Golf Clubhouse is in good working condition, well maintained and could be further improved without a $23 million bond and tax increase.

The board believes that residents will “more” use a new golf clubhouse for a restaurant or banquet hall. Yet the board presented no evidence that “more” use will occur. The board did not describe market research on residents’ dining habits, typical restaurant spending or impact of competing restaurants in the area. They also assumed no increase in golf course use or fees. When asked: “What did you project in new revenues from this investment?” The answer was: “None.” As a result, users of the golf course or clubhouse will not shoulder a portion of the cost. About 10 percent of residents use the golf course, leaving the other 90 percent to absorb the cost.

The board chairwoman stated the board does not have a specific bond structure from bond advisors because “we won’t ask for that until after the vote.” It sounds like, “You have to vote for it to know what is in it.” Therefore, key elements of the bond to be issued are not known and subject to change. The board also did not ask for preliminary construction bids to support cost estimates described in its notice of election.

It is a basic economic principle that a significant tax increase will likely decrease home values. The board did not obtain a comparative tax burden of Eagle-Vail to other Eagle County communities. Without a comparative analysis, how can there be a reasoned estimate of 5A’s impact on home values?

When the board’s “shiny new golf clubhouse” fails to have greater use, the Eagle-Vail Metro District Board will simply fade away and leave all Eagle-Vail taxpayers with “the check.” They should be denied our hard-earned money.

Eagle-Vail renters and Colorado voters with Eagle-Vail property are eligible to vote. Eligible voters should register and complete a ballot before 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Vote ‘no’ on 5A

Stephen Daniels