Vail Daily letter: No on 5A
I have attended two meetings concerning Ballot Issue 5A, which includes building a new Eagle-Vail community clubhouse, certain park and golf maintenance improvements, as well as new tennis courts. This is a fairly ambitious project that may be too much for the community of Eagle-Vail to handle. I feel voters should reject the proposal for the following reasons:
This bond issue, along with the one passed in 2009 for the pool and golf course improvements, would burden the approximately 1,440 Eagle-Vail homeowners with well over $33 million of debt. This is unprecedented to have this much debt placed on so few people.
The Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District has either misled the voters or does not understand the true cost to the taxpayers. The claim from one Metro District flyer states that “the estimated tax impact of the proposed $10,895,000 bond measure is about $56 per year per $100,000 of a home’s actual value as determined by the county assessor.” However, the actual ballot requests authority to increase taxes to allow the district to incur an additional financing obligation of up to $1,095,000 annually. This would equate to an additional tax burden per dwelling unit, on average, by over $760 per year for 30 years! This is about triple what the Metro District is telling people. In my case, using actual 2014 property taxes, my bill would have gone from $1,740 to $2,500 — just to have a community center. Again, this increase continues for 30 years.
Improvements to the old clubhouse were never discussed seriously. Projected costs to renovate appear to be grossly inflated.
If the bond proposal passes, it has been suggested that the proceeds from the sale of the clubhouse land as well as the adjacent parking lot land may or may not be used to pay down the new debt. This could be over $1 million. However, some of the land is restricted to recreational use and has little resale value.
As far as hoping your property values will increase through this measure, consider two things:
• Property taxes and property values are inversely proportional. People perceive Eagle-Vail as good value now because property taxes are relatively low.
• The Metro District is right on one of their claims, “The new community clubhouse is central to other community facilities.” What is not being mentioned is that this clubhouse will be the centerpiece for the final portion of the Eagle-Vail master plan developed by the Urban Land Institute in 2008. This includes 491 additional dwelling units to be erected in the current baseball field, soccer field, and a portion of the Par 3 golf course. Think about selling your 40-year-old home while competing with 500 available new homes.
Finally, it appears the the vote is being held this November (an off-year election period) in hopes of a light turnout. It only takes one more “yes” vote than “no” vote for this to pass.
Get your mail-in ballots in,
President, Par Six Condominium Association