Vote ‘yes’ on Vail Recreation District tax increase
October 23, 2017
As the former mayor of Vail, I've watched the Vail Recreation District grow and become a community gem, with activities and facilities suitable for the active resort community we enjoy.
I have seen firsthand how fiscally responsible the District is, and they have been very successful at keeping costs down for locals. They've been able to expand their program offerings, such as adding pickleball, which is extraordinarily popular in Vail. VRD is also crucial to our local economy by attracting guests who bring destination dollars to Vail through several large sporting events, such as lacrosse and soccer tournaments that bring people from across the state and country.
But this fall, the District needs your help.
In 1993 the District became a separate entity, no longer part of the town of Vail, and the tax rate that supported it has remained the same.
Now in its 25th year, the number of programs and facilities the VRD oversees is significant, from bike races, foot races, golf, gymnastics, hockey, soccer, softball, kids' after-school programs, senior programs, skateboarding, pickleball, tennis, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing and whitewater events to arts classes and programs held at the Vail Nature Center.
This variety and quality of programs has become part of the fabric of the Vail community, serving local residents, workers and visiting guests.
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The existing tax rate was put in place to cover operating expenses but not the capital expenses the district now faces. Those expenses over the next 10 years will amount to $14 million.
State taxing and spending laws have further constrained the district's budget; in fact, tax revenue the District receives is still below 2010 levels, so now the district needs your help. The District is asking for a modest property tax increase — $36 per year on a residential property valued at $500,000.
Passage of Issue A will help keep the VRD's programs affordable for working families with children, as well as keeping our facilities modern and sustainable to attract guests for years to come.
Please join me in making an informed decision and vote "yes" on Issue A.
Former Vail mayor
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