Letter to the editor: Silverthorne residents should vote ‘no’ on fire tax increase

Harry Hufft

Summit Fire & EMS is asking for an increase in our property taxes from 9 mills to 13 mills (44%). While it should be easy to support the professional, hard-working men and women of Summit Fire, I suggest Silverthorne residents vote “no” on this tax increase.

Silverthorne is the largest municipality in the Summit Fire district with a population of about 5,000, yet it has no fire and EMS station. Dillon, Keystone, Frisco and Copper Mountain are the four other municipalities in the fire district and have a combined population just slightly larger than Silverthorne. All of these smaller municipalities have a fire station.

Property owners in Silverthorne pay about $2.5 million (25%) of the $10 million collected in property taxes for the fire district.

Traffic is a major issue in Silverthorne, and we have routine backups in and around the Exit 205 interchange. With emergency services having to navigate this congestion, response times could be seriously impacted, creating a public safety issue when responding to Silverthorne. This will only get worse as Silverthorne continues to grow.

In previous discussions with the fire district, I was told that we would not get a fire station without a tax increase. Now Summit Fire is asking for a tax increase, and there are still no concrete plans for a fire and EMS station in Silverthorne.

Fire and EMS are a critical primary emergency service, much like our police department. This current situation is unacceptable, and Silverthorne residents should vote “no“ on tax increases until this is corrected.

If you live north of Interstate 70 in unincorporated Summit County, this message should echo loudly for each of you, and you should consider joining Silverthorne residents in voting “no.“ Our combined area represents about one-third of the tax revenue for Summit Fire.

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