Silt eyes increase in town’s sales tax |

Silt eyes increase in town’s sales tax

SILT — The town’s board of trustees has decided to ask the voters for a 25 percent increase in the sales tax rate, to raise up to an additional $160,000 in the first year of the new tax rate.

The issue will be discussed at a public hearing before the town council at its regular July 8 meeting at Town Hall. The discussion is scheduled to take approximately a half-hour, according to the agenda for that meeting issued by Town Clerk Sheila McIntyre on July 3.

No one could be reached at town hall on July 5 for further information about the tax increase proposal.

In a memo to the board, Town Administrator Pamela Woods noted, “At the June 3 Board of Trustees retreat, the board acknowledged the town had the lowest sales tax percent [3 percent] in Garfield County.”

After a discussion, Woods continued, the council decided to ask the voters to approve a .75 percent increase in the sales taxes collected for the town.

The question, if adopted by the trustees in a formal meeting, would be on the ballot of the upcoming Nov. 5 general election. If approved by the voters, the tax hike would be effective as of Jan. 1, 2014.

The need for the tax hike, according to Woods’ memo, is “to offset the decrease in our General Fund from property tax valuations.”

Silt, like other communities around Colorado and the U.S., has been hard hit by the national recession that began in 2008 and the lingering effects of which are still being felt.

According to the town’s budget documents, available under the finance department on the town’s website, Silt had revenues of more than $3.5 million for the General Fund in 2008, with expenditures of $3.9 million and a reserve balance of nearly $563,000.

By 2010, the revenues had dropped to $1.9 million, and the 2012 budget projected revenues of $1.7 million.

For 2013, the budget was projected to rise slightly, to $1.8 million.

Silt needs more money to “fund the town’s general operations and any other lawful municipal purposes,” according to the proposed ordinance.

The text of the ordinance contains a provision, known as the TABOR Notice, requiring the town clerk to mail out to all registered voters in Silt a notice of the election, with the title of the proposed ordinance and any information mandated by the TABOR act, or the Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

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