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Libraries, transit on ballot

Naomi Havlen

Funding for libraries in Aspen and Basalt and the way you might get to work are all on the November ballot this fall, the Pitkin County commissioners decided Wednesday.County voters will decide whether to approve an additional property tax levy of up to 0.23 mills starting in 2005 to support the operation of the Pitkin County Library. If passed, the increase – a 20 percent hike – would generate about $385,000 a year for the library’s coffers. An existing tax of 1.131 mills provides about $1.9 million annually to run the facility. The tax hike would increase taxes on a $1 million home by $18.31.Commissioners also improved a ballot question for the Basalt Regional Library District. The question asks if voters would support increasing taxes $394,000 annually beginning in 2005.Finally, voters will be asked to support the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, although in Aspen and Snowmass Village this question doesn’t mean a tax hike. Instead, voters in the upper valley – including unincorporated Pitkin County – are asked to allocate additional proceeds from an existing half-cent sales tax to RFTA.Passage of this question, however, depends on whether Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County approve a two-10ths of a cent sales tax dedicated to RFTA (see related story).Although the Aspen Historical Society had considered a ballot question to ask Pitkin County for money to bail out the financially struggling organization, the society’s board of directors decided to withdraw the question earlier this week.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com


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