My Side |

My Side

Stan Stevens

According to the Pitkin County Financial Report 2004 (as published in March), projected total sales are $600.3 million. Two percent of total sales went into the General Fund ($12 million,) and 1.5 percent ($9 million) was allocated to RFTA and mass transit.Mr. Dan Blankenship stated in the second paragraph of his “My Side” article (Post Independent, May 26) that “0.72 percent of the Pitkin County transit taxes were dedicated by Pitkin County voters to RFTA” – 0.72 percent (i.e. 0.0072) times the transit tax of $9 million (see above) equals $64,832. I am sure Mr. Blankenship was mistaken when he made that assertion.Later on in his article he states that the upper valley “has a significantly higher RFTA sales tax rate than Glenwood Springs (0.72 percent versus 0.4 percent).” Now he is comparing the sales tax rate between Pitkin County and Glenwood Springs (which is the correct comparison) and not the 0.72 percent of the transit taxes.At a 0.72 percentage of total sales the Pitkin County contribution to RFTA for 2004 should be $4.3 million (0.0072 times the total Pitkin County projected sales of $600.3 million). But according to the RFTA-approved budget, Pitkin County is budgeted to contribute only $3.02 million, which is less than 0.5 percent of the total sales.If Mr. Blankenship wants me to correct my numbers from 0.49 percent of total sales to 0.5 percent from Pitkin County to RFTA, I shall. But at the same time he should eliminate the commingling of the tax-supported Valley routes (Aspen and Snowmass to Glenwood Springs and on to Rifle) from the upper-valley tourist and local services that RFTA provides. And since the remainder of numbers were all taken from the RFTA-approved budgets of 2003 and 2004, he should correct and reissue the RFTA budget showing the projected $4.3 million contribution from Pitkin County to RFTA for 2004.This will make the service ratio of three times the service from El Jebel to Aspen and Snowmass compared to Glenwood Springs for 1.8 times the Glenwood Springs RFTA sales tax rate compared to the Pitkin County contribution.Stan Stevens is a Glenwood Springs resident.

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