You had a recent front-page article entitled “Soaring property tax bills draw ire of ‘old Aspen.'” (Feb. 19, The Aspen Times) I suggest a different title: “We are doomed as property taxes go up 30 percent to 40 percent!” Subtitle: “And they ain’t comin’ down!”
I own three residential properties in Snowmass Village. Two tax bills went from $6,000 to $9,000 each – a 50 percent increase because of a quirky Colorado law that requires assessors to use June 2008 values. Property values soared up to the later part of 2008. And, now have crashed with a third! To add to this pain, stocks are down from late 2007 30 percent as of this writing. So we have less money to pay taxes.
Now here’s the “Catch 22.” The taxing districts are all getting a “windfall.” And what do politicians do? Spend, spend, spend. The old wasteful projects that couldn’t be funded before will be dusted off and shoved down the taxpayers’ throats.
Well, when the assessors revalue downward in two years, the politicians will raise the tax rate to have our money for those foolish new programs that they kicked in from the 2009/2010 windfall, thanks to Colorado’s quirky assessment law.
So, taxpayers, we are “doomed” to this level of taxes unless, unless, unless we vote the money hungry politicians out of office. Their replacements must promise (and be believable) to do “zero based budgets,” which should do away with wasteful and foolish expenditures.
National polls show that over 50 percent of voters want to replace those currently in office. Is this an idea whose time has come?
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