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Do your part with the tax increase

Dear Editor:There seem to be two issues of concern in the tax increase. We all received high assessments on our homes, but the assessments were done according to the law, the prices were high, and for most of us an appeal will not make a difference.The mill levy is something we can work on. If the mill levy is not controlled by the TABOR law, which limits the tax growth to the rate of inflation plus the rate of growth due to new construction, the authority will have a windfall next year. If the assessed rate goes up by 50 percent the amount of money they receive from the taxes will increase by 50 percent. We all have the right to call these authorities and request that they lower their mill levy so that they will collect maybe 5 percent or 10 percent more than the previous year, not 50 percent more. Since these groups are here to serve us they will listen to us. They realize that for them to have a windfall while we have a tax burden in tough economic times is not right. Your calm voice expressing concern along with hundreds of other people should make a difference.Below are the taxing authorities with fixed mill levies. We can request that they reduce the rate to something reasonable under the present circumstances. This list was given to me at the assessors office.Beginning in August there will be community meetings to discuss this. It is important to attend these meetings and let your voice be heard. Calling now is a good idea, too. New mill levies will be set during the months of September through November. You might also want to call the county commissioners to register your opinion. Taxing authorities with fixed mill leviesLarge Authorities City of Aspen 920-5027 Aspen Historic Park/Recreation 925-3721 Aspen Valley Hospital 544-1261 CMC 945-8691 Pitkin County Open Spaces and Trails 920-5203 Snowmass Water and Sanitation 923-2056 Town of Snowmass Village 923-3777Fire Protection Districts Aspen Fire Protection 925-5532 Basalt & Rural Fire Protection 704-0675 Carbondale Fire Protection 963-2491 Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection 923-2212Local Taxing Authorities Aspen Village Metro 925-3475 Buttermilk Metro Water 925-3475 Crown Mountain Park and Recreation 963-6030 East Aspen Metro 544-5114 Five Trees Metro 925-3475 Gateway Metro 927-4262 W/J Ranch (970)926-6060Cari ShurmanAspen