Letter: 4B is an unnecessary tax | PostIndependent.com

Letter: 4B is an unnecessary tax

I ask that the voting community take the time to consider the incredible tax increase that 4B, the fire district tax, would levy against us in Carbondale. This is the third increase in 12 years, the second in two years, and as it acts in perpetuity, the tax will continue to grow exponentially as our property values recover.

All agencies suffered tax revenue losses during the last few years when our property valuations declined. Everyone, both in government agencies and at home, were forced to regroup and buckle down to survive. Many of us did not withstand the downturn, and those of us who have are still trying to recoup losses and rebuild our economic lives. We do not need to pad the coffers of the fire district that did not manage its funds accordingly. While I appreciate the emergency services that exist, I cannot fathom a need for such a massive (double) mill increase. In the event of a large land fire, adjoining communities, Colorado state fire agencies, BLM, and the U.S. Forest Service would immediately supply fire crews and needed aid. As a small community, the tax is unnecessary to keep us safe.

I live in what is considered an “average home” in Garfield County, as it meets the concept of a median value. Currently, I pay nearly $400 a year to the fire district. In comparison, I pay $1,300 a year to the school district. The school district educates well over 5,000 students, runs 12 schools, provides bus service in three communities, and pays the salaries of hundreds of employees. As property values increase, and therefore the fire district tax with it, I can easily see my fire district tax soaring to $1,000 over the next 10 years. This is an out of balance equation for the services offered.

Please vote no on 4B so that our taxes can be used in a more equitable manner.

Denise Barkhurst


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