County to forgive 5 percent collections fee on VR rebates |

County to forgive 5 percent collections fee on VR rebates

BRECKENRIDGE – The school board, fire and sewer districts will save on a 5 percent banking fee paid to the county treasurer when they recoup from taxpayers their portions of Vail Resorts’ $900,000 rebate on miscalculated property taxes.

The Board of County Commissioners decided Monday that the fee will not be charged on any rebate tax collections.

Vail Resorts, owner of Keystone and Breckenridge, recently won a $900,000 tax rebate for personal property taxes paid over two years on an inflated evaluation of snowmaking and other equipment.

About half of the rebate hit the Summit School District Board of Education. Vail Resorts’ own report on its equipment was blamed for the overpayments.

While Vail Resorts gets the money back, the taxing entities are entitled to add the forgiven amount into future tax collections so there is not net loss, irrespective of other laws holding down tax growth.

Ordinarily, each entity pays 5 percent of its property tax collection totals to Treasurer Larry Gilliland for the county’s tax collection apparatus.

When the Vail Resorts news broke, Snake River Fire District Chief Dave Parmley asked that the district not pay 5 percent again on the disputed money – which would be a double payment.

Last year, Parmley raised a larger concern before the county commissioners on the overall fairness of the flat 5 percent fee.

“The Vail Resorts abatement revived the discussion,” said County Manager Ron Holliday. “Our recommendation is that our policy be changed regarding treasurer’s fees applied to abatements.”

Gilliland expects the annual abatement total to reach $1.4-$1.5 million this year, with Vail Resorts and Intrawest inflating the amount with significant rebate wins.

In past years, rebates on miscalculated property taxes have hovered between $300,000 and $400,000.

Gilliland expects rebates to grow in coming years because of what he calls the growing complexity of property appraisals.

“We tried to apply common sense and fairness to the law,” Holliday said of the rebated fee on rebates.

Jim Pokrandt can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 227, or

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