Letter: Development wouldn’t benefit Basalt schools so much

In Basalt last week, a blatant overstatement was made at the Town Council meeting about the property tax revenue that would be provided to schools via high-end residential development on the Pan and Fork. This letter is to keep the debate honest and to set the record straight. It was incorrectly stated that the “proposed $20 million residential developments would throw off a bare minimum of $2 million in property tax revenues to the Basalt schools.” That is 31 times greater than the actual tax revenue that schools would get from that stated value of residential development.

At the meeting, there was no opportunity to correct this. The Eagle County treasurer has confirmed that for 2015 in Basalt, properties with $20 million in market value would yield total property tax contributions to the school district via annual property taxes of $63,601 per year, not the $2 million stated.

An open park or a later-to-be-built, 6,500-square-foot events and community center on the same ground, if done right, would serve Basalt in a different, more inclusive, vibrant way, with the very real possibilities of yielding more increases in sales tax revenue that would benefit all, including the schools, than a residential development serving the developer and a select few.

High levels of development belong largely in the Clark’s Market area.

Mark Kwiecienski