Rec center taxes upped


— If voters in the Hayden School District approve a $5.6 million recreation center plan, and agree to pay associated operational costs, their property taxes will go up more than originally expected.
For a $100,000 house, the new taxes will be about $10 higher than initial estimates.
As planned, the recreation center would house an indoor swimming pool, weight room, kitchen and day-care center.
Recently, the West Routt Recreation District Committee had the district revaluated in preparation for the Nov. 7 election.
Initially, the district was valued at about $75 million. That value included parcels of land 40 acres or more within the school district that are used and assessed as agriculture property. The committee has since decided to exempt those properties from the district.
Recently, Routt County Assessor Amy Williams did a re-evaluation of the district without the agriculture land. Without those parcels, the district is valued at $65 million. With a lower value, the taxes needed to fund the construction and operation of the center will increase.
In the ballot booths, voters will answer four questions. Two of them will involve a tax increase.
The two tax questions will ask voters if they want to approve a $5.6 million recreation construction bond and a $400,000 maintenance mill levy. According to the proposal, the construction bond would be paid back in 25 years at an interest rate of 7 percent, meaning the total cost of the project would be $11.3 million.
To pay that bond back, taxes would increase $575,000 per year. In the newly revalued district, a resident owning a home worth $100,000 would see his or her property taxes increase by $81.88 in the first year. The initial tax increase was expected to be $76.14, a difference of $5.74.
The new figure for commercial property is $243 for every $100,000 of assessed property value. The original tax was figured at $226, or $17 less.
The new value of the district also will affect the $400,000 mill levy voters will decide. That money will pay annual operational expenses for the new facility.
To cover that expense, taxes would increase $60.94 per $100,000 of residential property value. That's $4.22 higher than the original estimate of $56.72.
The tax for a commercial property would be $181.60 per $100,000 of assessed property value, an increase of $12.73 from the $168.87 originally estimated.
Members of the committee do not believe the new, higher estimates will have an impact at the ballot box.
"We don't feel the new figures are bad at all," said Eva Gibbon, a member of the committee.
With the election fast approaching, the committee is working hard to get out its message.
"We have been going out and speaking at a lot of community meetings" Gibbon said. "We are trying to educate the public."
The committee has received financial help from the Babson-Carpenter Foundation, which donated $18,000 to the rec center cause. The committee is using the money to campaign and for legal and election fees.
To promote the ballot issues, the committee is planning on putting out 100 yard signs in Hayden and Milner. The committee also is going to circulate about 1,000 pamphlets containing information regarding the recreation center.


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