Hung out to dry | AspenTimes.com

Hung out to dry

(This letter was originally addressed to the Aspen Village Metro District board.)Dear Editor:When I began asking questions about how much more this metro district was going to cost us, I was assured that “it would be about the same” … and for the first year it was “about the same” when you add in the $300 per year we’re paying for upkeep or whatever. Now, I learn my place has been upgraded $40,000 in one year. I’m told that this is going to raise my taxes to more than $2,000 if the mill levy doesn’t go up, “… which isn’t likely.” So to round it out, it is going to cost me $75 a month more than the $125 a month we were paying before.If something happens in the economy and our places don’t sell for inflated prices any more, will our taxes go down? I doubt it.There has been an element in this park that has been champing at the bit to raise, raise, raise our taxes, or rates, or dues for several years. These people must be in seventh heaven now. When are we going to become a gated community?I spoke with a friend of mine with a place at Smuggler. His place has been appraised at three times higher than mine (between $600,000 and $700,000) and his property taxes are about $1,000 and some change … (because “we’re in Aspen.”) So what?Aspen lays all these rules and regulations on us, doesn’t give us a damn thing and never has, but we’re paying double in property taxes as Smuggler is? I want an explanation to all this.Because … I see the day in the not-so-distant future when I will not be able to afford to live here, even though my place is paid for free and clear and I’m living in a mobile home! As we all know, this probably means leaving the valley … after, what, 30 or 40 years of living here?I think you should start thinking about these things because a lot of us are getting older, and if circumstances are such, down the road, when some of us may have to live exclusively on Social Security (because we’re living in our “equity”), we are going to be hung out to dry … and some of our resident high rollers may be amongst the count.Pat MilliganAspen Village