Yampa Valley Housing Authority panel details tax increase recommendations

Committee to suggest adding 0.55 mills to property tax


— A committee of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority affirmed plans Thursday to recommend asking voters in Nov­ember to approve a new property tax.

The suggested 0.55 mills of tax would support the authority’s operations, including advising families struggling to find affordable rental apartments and homes to own as well as managing existing deed-restricted condos and a mobile home park. The authority’s board is expected to consider the tax Feb. 10.

YVHA Manager Mary Alice Page-Allen said the need to support affordable housing initiatives in the community has not gone away in the midst of a struggling economy and local real estate market.

“We’re serving 1,400 families a year,” she said. “We have a huge waiting list for rentals, and rental rates here are still $500 a bedroom.”

The proposed mill levy would increase the taxes on a $500,000 home by $21.89 annually and bump the taxes on a $1 million commercial property (which is taxed at a higher rate) by $145.

The tax, applicable only to property owners within the authority’s district — generally Steamboat Springs and surrounding rural areas minus unincorporated Milner — is estimated to raise about $395,000 under the newly revised property valuations in the district. As proposed, the tax would end after five to seven years, committee member and Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak confirmed.

Research from committee member Catherine Carson and County Assessor Gary Peterson concludes, based on property classifications and ZIP codes of owners, that 55.8 percent of the district’s assessed valuation can be attributed to second homes.

The recommended 0.55 mills of tax also would provide $50,000 annually toward land acquisition and operations, but not construction costs, for the local Habitat for Humanity. The committee also will recommend to its board that the new tax be used to wean YVHA off a combined $168,000 in funding from the city of Steamboat and Routt County.

“We’ll have a strong relationship with the city and county if we’re no longer asking for money,” Carson said.

Government fund­ing combined with management fees for existing housing projects help bring the authority’s budgeted revenues for 2011 to $272,800.

Page-Allen gave committee members a detailed five-year budget plan Thursday. It shows 2011 payroll, including benefits, of $75,900. With the hiring of an additional housing specialist in 2012, payroll could grow to $131,900.

The tax would tentatively boost annual revenues to almost $490,000, according to Page-Allen. That would create room to set aside about $200,000 annually to build a capital reserve for future projects.

However, at least initially, some of the $200,000 would likely be used to pay down $2 million in debt on an undeveloped parcel of land on the city’s west side that is viewed as a future site for development of affordable rental apartments or other housing. The land, burdened with an interest-only loan, costs the authority about $111,000 annually to carry.

Carson consulted Peterson to develop spreadsheets that show that 0.55 mills of tax would generate $394,663 based on the district’s new approximate assessed property valuation of $717,568,490. The valuation is down from the 2009 valuation of $1.3 billion because of lower-priced comparable sales since 2008.


boater1 4 years, 6 months ago

when the newspaper comes out in print and says it's not gonna pass maybe someone should get the message. in the mean time yvha is working full steamboat ahead was time & $ on something that will fail. now that is waste.


boater1 4 years, 6 months ago

"We’ll have a strong relationship with the city and county if we’re no longer asking for money,”

isn't this still asking for $? either way it's comeing from the taxpayers.

balance you budget, like everyone else & stop looking for tax handouts!


Scott Wedel 4 years, 6 months ago

If they have a "huge waiting list for rentals" then they must be renting at deep bargains because there is a ton of units available. When Central Park Management is advertising deals then there is no shortage of rental units. It would appear YVHA could raise their rents a bit and still remain affordable and thus generate some cash flow instead of asking the taxpayers to fund their mistakes.

Also, if they are serving 1,400 families a year then that is approaching 20% of the local population and their average cost to serve a family is less than $100. Which makes me very interested in what is their definition of "serving".

Regardless, as long as their plan is to obscure that they are spending at least $110K annually on speculative raw land deals that have gone bad then this proposed tax increase is going to fail miserably.


sledneck 4 years, 6 months ago

Boater, That is EXACTLY right.

"He who robs Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of (or a stronger relationship with) Paul."


boatski 4 years, 6 months ago

"However, at least initially, some of the $200,000 would likely be used to pay down $2 million in debt on an undeveloped parcel of land on the city’s west side that is viewed as a future site for development of affordable rental apartments, for example. The land, currently burdened with an interest-only loan, costs the authority about $111,000 annually to carry."

Let's see you'll be paying interest only on a $2 Million dollar loan and then you are going to develop this site with affordable rental apartments, explain to me how you build affordable apartments on a piece of property that you owe $2 Million dollars on???


Scott Wedel 4 years, 6 months ago

Boatski, Well, I suppose if they spread the costs over enough apts then the land cost per apt is not that bad.

I see the bigger question is how do they have minimal cash flow from Hillside Village which presumably have rents set at the appropriate level of affordable rents and think they can build and charge similar affordable rents? Are they planning on claiming that affordable rent at Hillside is substantially less than elsewhere?

As I noted before, for them to have a long waiting list for apts when there are so many available on the market with discounts then they must be charging really cheap rent. Maybe they should improve their cash flow by not trying to minimize cash flow, but by charging rent affordable for those earning 60% of median income or whatever.


bigfatdog 4 years, 6 months ago

Only in Steamboat!! Imagine a private developer trying to permit a high density residential development at hwy 129 & 40!!! Any YVHA board/public official members who voted for the "light industrial" parcel at Hwy 129 should be personally responsible for the note. This was the worste decision by a public entity and even in the "need to catchup for the past 15 years of no affordable housing... NOW days" this was a terrible decision.

A bad location is a bad location. Short sale the property and the YVHA may survive, otherwise this achilles heal will be your demise. The Steamboat planning dep's infill concept and any sense of affordability is pure evidence of lack of understanding of how market driven forces work. That planning kid needs more real world and economic experiences.


housepoor 4 years, 6 months ago

Would YVHA defaulting be detrimental to the City’s credit rating? Maybe they are believe the market will return in the next 5-7 years and they will be able to sell or develop the property?
Maybe they are drinking the same Kool-Aid the realtors are?


Fred Duckels 4 years, 6 months ago

Denial is not a river in Egypt. Move on to plan B.


pitpoodle 4 years, 6 months ago

No SB property tax to support a group of individuals who have continually made bad financial decisions and have no accountability to the taxpayers. Bring on the ballot issue.


doug monger 4 years, 6 months ago

YV Boy, don't be so thankful yet, the proposal is to have a tax among the taxing district. As the articles have elaborated the proposal and the current district is similar to the Steamboat Rural Fire Protection District. So if you are covered by the fire district, you will be covered by an increased tax.


Fred Duckels 4 years, 5 months ago

Our local socialists rode the Fannie-Fredddie stampede, and the AH mess is akin to our economy collapse. All but the most foolish among us have awakened. The resultant aftermath is a problem, and those with the most visible fingerprints have every reason to transfer their folly to others.


Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

Fred, So why not include the URA to the list of debt ridden socialist organizations? Do you not include them because they have already transferred their folly to SB's general fund by SB guaranteeing their bonds?


addlip2U 4 years, 5 months ago

"When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation." -- Dr. Adrian Roger


Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

YVHA, I suggest that if you want this to be approved then you should start by saying how YVHA has helped 1,400 families a year because it would seem that almost none of them recognize that YVHA has helped them. So your potential supporters appear to fail to recognize how YVHA has helped them.


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