Letter to the editor: Is it time for some fiscal conservatism in Summit County? | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Is it time for some fiscal conservatism in Summit County?

In the past six to eight years we’ve seen numerous Mill Levy increases for: sustaining the Summit County Ambulance Service (now part of Summit Fire & EMS), water clean up, schools, the Summit Strong Future Fund and abating Gallagher Amendment effects on our fire districts and Colorado Mountain College.  Also, in many cases we’ve seen double-digit property valuation increases every two years.  And, based on real estate sales over the past year, it’s unlikely that our property valuations will flatten or diminish in our next property valuation notice (which is seldom mentioned when considering Measure 1A).

Our property tax amount is the taxable actual values times the assessment rate and mill levy.  Our taxable actual values will continue to increase and if Measure 1A passes, our mill levy will fluctuate to maintain a 7.15% assessment rate instead of the projected 5.88% rate due to the Gallagher Amendment.  So it seems that two of the three variables will continue increasing — taxable actual values and mill levy (such as with Measure 7A for the Colorado River Water District).  Nothing ever seems to sunset.  However, if Amendment B passes, all of this is moot.

So where does that leave us?  Seems to me, we have an opportunity precipitated by the Gallagher debate and the election of new county commissioners to create the possibility for a modicum of fiscal conservatism in Summit County.  I for one would like to see other, more creative sources of revenue as opposed to the seemingly ever-escalating burden on our property taxes.

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