Chadwick’s views on TIF taxdiffer from attorney/spouse’s
Kris Chadwick’s husband helped do legal battle against the city of Glenwood Springs when its downtown tax was challenged in court.Soon, she’ll be serving on City Council as it oversees the spending of that tax. This summer, the city prevailed in a lawsuit brought against it by Colorado Mountain College and Garfield County.Chadwick is running uncontested for City Council. Her husband, Glenn Chadwick, acted as CMC’s attorney when it challenged the city’s tax increment financing, or TIF, tax.”To a large degree it doesn’t affect me or my views of the city, especially now that the case has been decided,” she said.But her view on the issue, to the degree she has one, contrasts with the one her husband argued on behalf of CMC.”I think I was pretty neutral. It didn’t really impact me one way or the other. If I were to side with one side I would side with the city,” Chadwick said.Under the TIF plan, the city decided to collect all new tax revenues created by growth in the tax base in the downtown district, and use the money for downtown improvements. State law allows TIF funding, but CMC and the county contended the city violated the law. They sued in 2002, arguing that the financing plan would deprive them of nearly $4 million in tax revenues.The Colorado Supreme Court in August refused to hear the county and college’s appeal of lower court decisions upholding the city’s plan.The action brought the legal proceedings to an end, and cleared the way for the city to pursue downtown projects that might include a parking garage and a performing arts theater. Next year, voters in the DDA district could be asked to approve issuing bonds based on future TIF income so the district can pursue major projects.Chadwick said if an issue arose regarding the TIF lawsuit while she was on council, she would step aside to avoid any concern about a conflict of interest. But she sounds ready to support the city as it moves forward in pursuing the goals of the tax.”I’m a big proponent of the revitalization of downtown Glenwood. I think that my views and my husband’s views are not the same. This is a little hard. But business is business from his perspective, and he represents the college.”Kris Chadwick has spoken out as a candidate in favor of beautifying and improving downtown. And she and her husband own commercial property there.”I guess I don’t see a lot of overlap between what he does as an attorney and what we do in our private life,” she said.Chadwick said few people have asked her about her position on TIF in light of her husband’s representation of CMC.David Hauter, who served on a task force that planned the DDA, met with Chadwick to explore her views on the tax and came away satisfied.”I think she is in favor of it, and I hope she becomes a very big proponent of the potential of it,” he said.If anything, his only concern was that she didn’t know more about it. He thinks the city could benefit if City Council had greater awareness about the TIF program.”I think the problem is that we’ve wasted four or five years when we should have done some serious planning,” he said. “It’s kind of like the train that’s at the station ready to go but hasn’t been moving.”Hauter understood the city’s reluctance to move forward on planning how to use the tax with the lawsuit hanging over it. But he said more planning would have addressed one of the concerns CMC and the county had about it – that the city hadn’t identified projects to be funded.”But that’s in hindsight. Now we need to go forward,” he said.Now that the lawsuit is over, people are excited about making use of the tax, Hauter said. After being frustrated over the delay created by the lawsuit, he said he might get involved again in working to improve downtown through the use of the tax.”I’m a little tired of it, but it’s very important to Glenwood,” he said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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