Letter: Is Basalt bond question worth it? Yes | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Is Basalt bond question worth it? Yes

Simple facts about bond question 2F: Although the mandatory Taxpayer Bill of Rights format of the bond question for 2F says $3.1 million, in reality, after credits back, 2F is expected to look like this:

Purchase price has been negotiated down to $2.9 million — less the anticipated revenue open space contribution pledged of $800,000, less the anticipated revenue resale of the acre of developable land at $1 million —

leaving a net cost of only $1.1 million; only a fraction of the remaining $1.1 million would be borne by property taxes as sales taxes fund a large part of the remaining amount.

Passage of 2F would give the town 100 percent control and a large forever and ever public river park for a very small amount of money. The net yearly cost to a taxpayer after the credits are applied should be $30 a year or less, for six years, for a residential property valued at $500,000!

Simple facts regarding bond question 2G: The public will pay for these improvements one way or the other. Passing bond 2G will make $4.12 million in funds available and should enable the park to become event-ready next year! The competitive bid process required by the bond issue will deliver the park in the most cost-effective way possible. All of that $4.1 million does not have to be spent. I think the cost estimates are very padded. The savings should get returned to tax payers. The net yearly cost for the passing 2G should be about $116 a year or less for six years for a residential property valued at $500,000.

The conservation easement to be placed on the park portion would protect the park in perpetuity — a thought that delights park lovers but haunts and terrifies those determined to privatize the town assets.

Passing 2F and 2G are by far the best options for the taxpayers. Together they are designed and anticipated not to raise taxes above the current levels that property owners are now paying in their property tax bill for the taxes attributable for the Pan and Fork. Not passing 2F and 2G would by penny wise and pound foolish and create a new extreme definition for the word shortsighted.

Mark Kwiecienski


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