Property tax would fund new director
Downtown Development Authority officials are urging voters to approve a proposed property tax that will fund a new director for that organization and provide money for marketing. By Greg MasséPost Independent StaffDowntown Development Authority officials are urging voters to approve a proposed property tax that will fund a new director for that organization and provide money for marketing. Bob Zanella, the volunteer interim director of the DDA, said the five-mill levy should raise about $185,000 during its first year. The money will be used to fund a full-time paid director – something the DDA hasn’t had for close to a year – and to market businesses and events in the city’s downtown district. “It would allow the downtown to continue marketing itself as a shopping area and hire a full-time director who would look out for the interests of the DDA,” Zanella said. Glenwood Springs city clerk Robin Unsworth said there is no registered opposition to the ballot question, but Zanella said there are likely some people opposing the question simply because of what it is – a tax increase. According to a summary of official comments made by proponents of the mill levy, the money that comes from such a tax increase will eliminate the need for any more DDA money to come out of the city’s general fund. Also, in areas of the district that have been paying 2.4 mills toward the General Improvement District – which is most of the DDA district – the net increase would only be 2.6 mills because if the new DDA mill levy passes, the GID would be eliminated. If the measure is approved by voters on Nov. 2, the mill levy would be charged to all property owners who live within the boundaries of the DDA district. Only people from within the district will vote on the property tax increase. For people with a residential property worth $300,000, the mill levy would cost $118.50 a year. For the owner of a $350,000 commercial property, the mill levy would cost $507.50. Glenwood Springs city clerk Robin Unsworth said ballots have been mailed out to voters in the district who were registered to vote by Aug. 27. Votes can only be cast with these mail-in ballots. Zanella said that while business owners will see the more immediate benefits from the mill levy if it passes, residential owners will most likely see their property values increase over time as the area is improved. “And it will make the area nicer to live in,” Zanella said.Contact Greg Massé: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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