City, county patch up tiff
The Garfield County Commissioners moved to end a long-standing tiff with the city of Glenwood Springs Monday. They agreed to accept a settlement to a lawsuit over money the city collects for its Downtown Development Authority (DDA).In 2002, Garfield County and Colorado Mountain College sued the city over its tax increment financing (TIF) plan for the DDA. TIF is a method used to help pay for the efforts of urban renewal and downtown development authorities.The city won a summary judgment in the case in district court in 2003. A state appeals court again sided with the city in 2005, agreeing the county and college had no legal standing to sue, and in August 2005 the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear the county and college’s appeal of the case.The city and county continued to negotiate over the release of approximately $600,000 held by the county treasurer that has been generated by the TIF funding since the court fight started.Under the TIF plan, the city will collect all new tax revenues created by growth in the property tax base downtown over 25 years. State law allows TIF funding, but CMC and the county argued that TIF would deprive them of nearly $4 million in tax revenues.County Commissioner John Martin cast the only vote against releasing the money, saying while he agreed the case should be resolved, the county would not receive any accounting for where the DDA will spend the money.The city has said it could spend the money on a downtown parking garage or pedestrian amenities such as fountains and public restrooms.”The stipulation agreement we signed off on, we didn’t agree with the outcome, but we wanted to move on,” said Commissioner Trési Houpt.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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