RE-1 backers pleasantly surprised |

RE-1 backers pleasantly surprised

A property tax hike to improve schools in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs won so easily Tuesday that even supporters were surprised.”I’m pleasantly surprised and crying tears of joy,” said Carbondale resident Denise Moss, a co-chair of a committee that worked to pass the proposal.The Roaring Fork School District asked voters to approved an $86 million bond to build a couple of new schools and renovate several of the existing ones. The bonds will be repaid through a property tax increase.That question, 3B on ballots in parts of Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties, was approved 8,680 to 5,630 votes, or a margin of 61 to 39 percent. It carried by similar margins in each of the three counties.A separate property tax increase was approved to raise an additional $1.8 million in operating revenues. Those funds will be used to increase the pay of teachers and other district employees, and to maintain small class sizes in grades kindergarten through third.That question, 3A, was approved 9,828 to 4,666 – or a margin of 68 to 32 percent.Moss said she wasn’t as surprised that the mill levy increase won by a wide margin. Raising the pay for teachers didn’t generate the same level of debate as the $86 million in bonds.The two proposals combined will increase the property tax by about $20 per month and $240 annually on a typical house with a value of $400,000. Proponents in Citizens for Investing in Roaring Fork School District Kids successfully argued that the benefits to the communities would outweigh the cost.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is

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