Gallagher repeal puts EagleCo on better financial footing
To all Eagle County voters:
We want to express our sincere thanks for your support of ballot measure 1A. With your vote, you have recognized the importance of local control over our essential services and quality of life by mitigating the impacts of the Gallagher Amendment, an out-of-date mandate that disproportionately harms mountain communities.
You likely headed off nearly $4 million in required cuts to basic services, such as emergency and law enforcement response to wildland fires and other natural disasters; public health response to pandemics and other emergencies; necessary road repair, maintenance and snowplowing; emergency assistance for our residents; and our voter-approved open space program.
We also are gratified that statewide, voters understood the unintended consequences of the Gallagher Amendment and approved Amendment B. This removed the requirement that the state legislature automatically reduce the residential assessment rate to maintain the ratio of property taxes paid to local governments at 45% from residential properties and 55% from commercial properties. However, while Amendment B removes the mandate for such assessment reductions, the legislature could still choose to do so. With the passage of 1A, the Eagle Board of County Commissioners will be authorized to adjust the county’s mill levy rate for the sole purpose of maintaining service levels if the state reduces the assessment rate in the future.
For those of you who voted against 1A, we want to assure you that we take our fiscal responsibilities very seriously. Again, we are limited to only making adjustments to maintain service levels; we cannot use 1A to increase taxes without voter approval. As always, we are committed to being accountable and transparent with the use of taxpayer dollars. Our budget, as well as our real time revenue and expenditures, are available online at http://www.eaglecounty.us.
We invite you to contact us anytime at email@example.com. Thank you again for your trust and support.
Kathy Chandler-Henry, Jeanne McQueeney and Matt Scherr
Commissioners, Eagle County