Why Ballot Issue A is important to the VRD | VailDaily.com

Why Ballot Issue A is important to the VRD

As members of the Board of Directors of the Vail Recreation District, we want to take this opportunity to tell you about Ballot Issue A, which will appear in your mailbox later this month.

Since 1993, when the district became a separate entity and no longer part of the town of Vail, the tax rate has remained the same. Over the past 24 years, the VRD has grown significantly in programs and facilities for which it is responsible, from bike races, trail races, golf, gymnastics, hockey, soccer, softball, kids' after school programs, senior programs, skateboarding, pickleball, tennis, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing to whitewater events, arts classes and programs held at the Vail Nature Center.

Surprised at the variety? Most people are impressed with the number of programs that the VRD operates. Our affordable programming is part of the fabric of the Vail community.

But we're at a pivotal moment at the VRD. The tax rate in 1993 was envisioned to only cover operating expenses and not the scope of the capital expenses the district now faces. Over the next 10 years, we will have a $14 million shortfall in capital funding obligations.

State taxing and spending laws have put additional constraints on the options available to the district for resolving this. This has put a huge strain on the budget.

As a result, we're seeking a modest property tax increase — $36 per year — on residential property valued at $500,000. If successful, Issue A will help keep our programs affordable for working families with children, as well as keeping our facilities modern and environmentally friendly.

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If it is unsuccessful, we, as a board, will need to make some very difficult decisions regarding raising rates and fees, cutting programs or shuttering facilities.

As a board, we ask that you make an informed decision and vote "yes" on Issue A.

Sincerely,

Kevin Foley, Rollie Kjesbo, Kim Newbury Rediker, Billy Suarez and Tom Saalfeld

Vail Recreation District Board of Directors