Taxing times | AspenTimes.com

Taxing times

Dear Editor:Recently I attended a meeting in Snowmass Village where representatives from each of the Pitkin Country taxing authorities told us about their organizations and several expounded on their future funding needs. Each did a good job in explaining their positions but one could only conclude that real estate taxes will rise appreciably in 2010.After the meeting I checked 10 years of taxes for my property (I live in the county and not in Aspen or Snowmass Village) and found that my taxes had increased 86 percent over the last 10 years. Analyzing each of the major taxing districts, I found that Open Space & Trails had increased 163 percent; Aspen School District, 99 percent; Colorado Mountain College, 92 percent; Pitkin County Library, 75 percent; Snowmass Village Fire District, 66 percent; Aspen Valley Hospital, 50 percent and Pitkin County, 41 percent.Based on these statistics, I would suggest that Open Space & Trails and Colorado Mountain College take a serious look at their budgets. As one gentleman so eloquently said at the meeting, we are in a very difficult period where jobs are being lost, businesses are hurting and everyone he knows is cutting back on expenses.To take advantage of these windfall assessments (based on the height of the real estate market) in this difficult period is unconscionable.Allen LevantinSnowmass

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