Again I have read in your paper a statement, this time by the BOCC, that is not only incorrect but misleading and damaging to the ongoing effort of SPARC to raise private funds to pay for the new ice rink.
In The Aspen Times of Feb. 22, in the Pitkin County Financial Report, which is signed by all the Pitkin County Commissioners, is a statement saying, “Property taxes are higher because of voter-approved tax increases … the largest of which are for … the Aspen recreation facility,” etc.
The recent voter-approved tax increases were not for the Aspen Recreation Facility. There has never been a voter-approved tax increase for the Aspen Recreation Facility nor was there ever an issue put before the voters to decide this.
The Aspen Recreation Facility consists of the Aspen Youth Center, which is paying for its own space from the sale of its current building in Aspen, the ice rink, which is also paying for itself with private funds, the swimming and leisure pools.
A portion of the cost of the pools will receive voter-approved money from excess taxes rather than receiving individual tax refunds. This is not from an increase in taxes, as stated in the BOCC report. This is not for the Aspen Recreation Facility, as stated by the BOCC report, it is only for the pools.
In the financial report the Pitkin County Commissioners also referred to seeking voter approval to retain excess property taxes, which is similar to the pool issue. Mark my words, Pitkin County will declare that this is “not a tax increase” if they ask voters to approve this issue.
It appears that Pitkin County is trying to use our desperately needed new Aspen Recreation Facility as an excuse to shift the controversy of increased taxes from them, when they themselves used a separate paragraph in their article to refer to this same process used for the pools to fund their road resurfacing and other projects.
SPARC, its contributors and volunteers have worked very hard to not only raise funds for the ice rink but also to bring this issue to the attention of the public that tax money is not being used to build the new ice arena.
I cannot say it enough. The new ice rink is not being financed by an increase in your property taxes.
It should be only proper for the BOCC to publicly correct this misinformation about how and who is paying for all elements of the new Aspen Recreation Facility. Most important, the BOCC should apologize for its misinformation to the public on this issue.
SPARC board member
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