Jill Beathard

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January 22, 2013
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Snowmass will pay fee for collection of Droste tax

SNOWMASS VILLAGE - The Snowmass Village Town Council voted in favor Tuesday of an agreement on how it would honor its $2 million commitment to Pitkin County to contribute to the purchase of the Droste property.

In 2010, Snowmass Village voters approved a mill levy of $2 million to help with the $17 million of the Droste property, which allowed the county, town and city of Aspen to connect open space parcels and create Sky Mountain Park. An issue of concern to the Snowmass council has been a 2-percent fee required by state law to be paid to the county collecting a property tax.

County and town staff together developed an alternative in which the $40,000 collection fee could be offset by revenue from the motor vehicle ownership tax.

"Those two are not necessarily connected, but the math adds up," said Town Manager Russ Forrest.

Another alternative proposed by staff would have included all fees in the $2 million. The council voted 3-2 in support of the first option.

Councilman Fred Kucker, who opposed that agreement, said Pitkin County Open Space is the governmental entity benefitting from the tax and therefore should be responsible for the fee.

"The entity that benefits is the entity that ought to pay this transfer fee," he said.

Councilman Jason Haber echoed that sentiment and also voted against it.

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The Aspen Times Updated Jan 22, 2013 08:46PM Published Jan 22, 2013 08:44PM Copyright 2013 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.