Deadline is Friday for Basalt residents to submit tax refund survey
The Aspen Times
The deadline is Friday for Basalt residents to fill out a survey to help the town government figure out what to do about a possible overcharge of property taxes.
Town Council will use the survey results and other information to determine if one or more questions should be placed on the November ballot.
The town sent a mailer to residents March 12 that informed them of the possible overcharge of property taxes and provided an estimating tool to determine how much of a refund property owners might receive.
Residents also were asked to fill out a survey with a variety of questions, including whether they would support keeping the mill levy at the current rate to maintain services or if a refund should be granted and the mill levy reduced.
The town survey also tries to gauge support for letting the government keep revenue that may have resulted from overcharging the property tax.
The current administration realized late last year while working on the 2019 budget that the town’s general mill levy rate for property tax has been raised 10 times since 2005 without voter approval. That may have violated the TABOR amendment to the state Constitution, which limits government revenue increases and prohibits new taxes without voter approval. TABOR was enacted in 1992. Basalt voters approved a local measure in 1994 that eases the restrictions of TABOR. The town has hired outside experts on the tax measure to help determine if any violations were committed.
If it is determined that a violation occurred, the town may be liable for returning tax revenue for the four most recent years. TABOR has a statute of limitations built in.
Any town resident who didn’t receive the mailer can fill out the survey at the town’s website at http://www.basalt.net. Look for the link to the mill levy issue.
The survey results will be shared with the council at a meeting in April.
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