APR Local News
3:38 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Property Tax Increase If Snowmass Water Measure Passes

Credit discoveryspringtexas.com

There are all sorts of tax measures on the November ballot. We’ve covered proposals that would affect residents in Basalt and Carbondale. Now we take a look at a measure in Snowmass Village and a few surrounding areas.

Reporter: Like most other local ballot questions, this one would raise property taxes if it were to pass. The Snowmass Water and Sanitation District is proposing the increase so it can fix dilapidated water and sewer pipes... that are cracking and leaking more and more. Dave Spence is former president of the board for the District… he explains the pipes have been there, well, since Snowmass Village began.

Dave Spence: “In a big rush, they were laying clay pipes and water pipes underground that have been there ever since 1967 are beginning to show their age. And we have miles and miles of pipes, I’ve forgotten how many miles, but it’s significant.”

Reporter: Spence says more tax dollars are needed to also replace other kinds of infrastructure down the road. The measure continues a property tax rate that otherwise would stop at the end of this year. It also adds a new property tax increase. Spence wasn’t able to detail why the additional tax increase is needed. The Snowmass Village Water and Sanitation District is in Pitkin County. County Assessor Tom Isaac calculates how much the measure would mean in property taxes... if it were to pass… for homeowners with a residence worth $500,000. Isaac says their tax increase would be less than other proposed local property tax increases in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Tom Isaac: “It’s a smaller levy because they have more value in the district. So they’re only asking for a $33 increase. Not great, but it’s needed so they can generate the same revenues they were receiving in the past.”

Reporter: Of course, that’s an estimate. Again, Tom Isaac.

Isaac: “Well, it depends where they live, because everybody pays into different districts, depending on the location of their property. So everybody should look at their own property tax bill, which they receive in January of every year.”

Reporter: There are no official arguments against Ballot Issue 5A. Former district board president Dave Spence says if the measure fails next Tuesday, it’s likely the district will find another way to pay for fixing the unreliable sewer and water pipes in Snowmass Village.

Spence: “The district would absolutely have to fix the leaks but they would probably just be able to fix the immediate area of the leak rather than try to do the section that was likely to fail shortly thereafter. The other way this could be funded would be through the water bills that are paid by the district members. The same pocket has to pay for it.”