American Soda tax cut pops county | PostIndependent.com
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American Soda tax cut pops county

Lynn BurtonPost Independent Staff

American Soda will pay $443,000 less in total Garfield County property taxes this year than originally assessed, under terms of an abatement settlement reached May 14, said Garfield County Attorney Don DeFord.DeFord said the settlement affects 14 mill levies: five for Garfield County, two for Garfield County School District No. 16, two for the Grand River Hospital District, and one each for Colorado Mountain College, the Colorado River Water Conservation District, the Grand Valley Fire District, and the Grand Valley Cemetery District.Garfield County School District No. 16 comes up the shortest, with a $171,000 reduction in revenues for 2003. Figures released from the Garfield County treasurer’s office show the school district must make up $96,000 in lost tax revenues for its general fund, and $75,000 in lost tax revenues for its bond fund.Rose Belden, the District No. 16 director of business services, said in the short term the district can absorb the revenue loss through its reserves. Longer term, the district will have to assess a one-time abatement mill levy next December.”It should be very small,” Belden said. “But I won’t know until it all shakes out.”In Garfield County, the five accounts will be reduced as follows:-General fund – $83,000.-Road and bridge – $9,600.-Social services – $10,000.-Capital expenditures – $28,000.-Retirement – $4,800.County officials were not available for comment.The remaining reductions are as follows:-Grand Valley Fire – $32,000.-Bluestone Water Conservancy – $500.-Colorado River Water Conservation – $2,500.-Colorado Mountain College – $40,000.-Grand Valley Cemetery – $950.-Grand River Hospital – $27,500.-Grand River Hospital (total) – $56,000.Grand River Hospital District spokesperson Kris Swanson said her district hadn’t been told of the tax revenue reduction. “But I’m sure a lot of it will be offset by the growth we’ve been seeing,” Swanson said.The Parachute-based American Soda, which produces sodium bicarbonate, is Garfield County’s fourth-largest taxpayer, and was scheduled to pay $1.53 million this year.American Soda petitioned the Garfield County board of equalization to reduce its assessed value because the company has experienced substantial losses that lowered the company’s overall market value.The company and Garfield County reached the settlement before the abatement petition went to the Colorado Division of Property Taxes board of assessment appeals.Rio Blanco County also reached a settlement with American Soda May 14. That settlement will save the company $308,000 in property taxes in that jurisdiction this year.Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534lburton@postindependent.com


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