Letter to the editor: Vote ‘yes’ on Amendment B and ‘no’ on Measure 1A
Measure 1A language: Shall Summit County taxes be increased zero dollars in tax collection year 2021, and thereafter shall it be authorized to maintain existing county services, including those recently (2018) approved by local voters, by adjusting its mill levies for the sole purpose of sustaining services that will otherwise be lost due to state-imposed changes in the method of calculating assessed valuation …
Proponents say it is intended to allow the county to maintain its revenue and avoid a decrease in revenue with the ultimate goal of maintaining existing county services and stabilize the revenue. They also say this is not a tax increase, but it allows them to increase the mill rate just enough to offset the decrease in the residential assessment ratio. They say nothing about all of the new home construction (read new real estate taxpayers) adding to the tax base here.
Opponents believe the county should look for other ways to make up for this temporary loss in revenue. The county 2019 financial statements reported multiple restricted fund balances of $52,323,768. These include the services our commissioners claim they will have to cut if 1A does not pass. If you notice, this new mil levy has no time limit (and thereafter) — it is forever.
For years, Summit County has been collecting real estate taxes from second-home owners who use very little of its services. James Otis, a firebrand lawyer, popularized the phrase “taxation without representation is tyranny.”
I voted for Amendment B because it freezes property tax rates for homeowners and businesses. It repeals the Gallagher Amendment, which forces small businesses, farmers and manufacturers to pay property taxes at a rate four times the rest of the state. If Amendment B passes, there is no reason for Measure 1A.
Please vote “no” on 1A.
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