Do the right thing
With 25-plus different taxing authorities in Pitkin County, we’re faced with an impossible problem. If each taxing authority decided to take advantage of the new assessments, we would see a 35 percent or more increase in our real estate taxes.
We’ve already seen some of the tax authorities take a responsible approach (i.e. Aspen Valley Hospital) and reduce their millage rate. Others (i.e. Open Space and Trails, Colorado Mountain College, etc.) continue to say “but we’re different.”
The issue before the Pitkin County commissioners is not land purchase but responsibility to the people of Pitkin County – to those who have been laid off; to those who have seen their hours and earnings curtailed and to those local businesses that are just trying to survive during this difficult period.
It is unconscionable for Open Space and Trails to take advantage of the higher assessments when they can now purchase 25-30 percent more property due to decreased land values, thus using the same amount of money they had in 2008-09. The fact is that the Open Space and Trails group is not any more important than the other 25-plus taxing authorities. The Pitkin County commissioners have a responsibility to do the right thing.
Allen M. Levantin
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