Some Routt County voters not notified of tax measure

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Election 2012

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Referendum 5C

Shall the Morrison Creek Metropolitan Water and Sanitation District be authorized to impose a mill levy above that for the prior year, of up to 50 mills or such lesser amount as may be necessary to pay district expenses, for collection in 2013 and every year thereafter; provided that the growth in property tax revenues each year shall not exceed “inflation” plus “local growth” as defined in Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution during the preceding year and shall the proceeds of such taxes and any investment income thereon be collected, retained and spent by the district each year without regard to any spending, revenue-raising or other limitation contained in Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution, the limits on increases in property taxation in Section 29-1-301, C.R.S., or any other law that purports to limit the district’s revenues or expenditures as such laws currently exist or as amended in the future, and all without limiting in any year the amount of other revenues that may be collected, retained and spent by the district?

Yes or No

— Some Routt County residents who own property in the Stagecoach area but do not use it as their residence were not notified about a tax measure that applies to them on the November ballot.

With Referendum 5C, the Morrison Creek Metropolitan Water and Sanitation District is asking voters to approve an increase in its mill levy cap to offset the ratchet-down effects of TABOR and to help maintain its current funding level in dollar terms.

The measure is not a TABOR exemption, but the lack of notification for some Routt County residents might violate a provision of TABOR.

Robert Skorkowsky lives in Routt County but owns a vacant residential lot in Stagecoach. Skorkowsky said he did not receive notification of a tax increase ballot item 30 days before the election, as required by TABOR.

Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland confirmed that Routt County residents who live outside the Stagecoach area but who own property in the sanitation district did not receive a notification.

“I take full responsibility,” Weinland said Friday.

Those who list their residence as within the sanitation district and those non-Routt County residents who own property within the sanitation district were notified.

Weinland said her office is sending out notifications to the Routt County residents who should have received them. A notice also will be published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today on Sunday.

Morrison Creek Water and Sanitation District Board President Tony Borean said he found out about the situation Thursday night. He said the district also will be sending out a notification.

The Nov. 6 election is less than 30 days away, and early voting runs from Monday to Nov. 2.

Property owner ballots are available at the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s Office and will be at polling stations on Election Day for Routt County residents and non-Routt County residents who own property in the sanitation district, Weinland said.

Neither Weinland nor Borean could comment on the legal ramifications of not fulfilling TABOR’s 30-day notification requirement.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com

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