Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis 5 days, 19 hours ago on Community members: In support of URA, TIF

There are larger questions, but I want to correctly understand the TIF mechanism.

"Consider a typical million dollar commercial property in downtown. It will probably be assessed for $900,000 and they'll pay $12,000 in property taxes of which about $4942 goes to the school district. With a TIF, the amount to the school district will be fixed to $4942 and the state currently backfills a percentage based upon inflation, say 2%. And that is it for the duration of the TIF."

It is my understanding that:

1) this example would apply only to real estate construction or improvement installed after a TIF is begun.

2) post TIF improvements of the YVEA building, for example, would accrue the improvement's property taxes to the TIF, but the pre-TIF base value YVEA property taxes would continue to accrue as before to school district, etc. This base value would be adjusted upward in kind with neighboring valuations, not adjusted upward with the 2% inflation.

3) the YVEA project with new Uses will generate sales taxes into the TIF. Sales taxes from Orange Peel Cycles will never go into the TIF.

Am I wrong?

2) above could be a huge difference over 25 years.


Steve Lewis 1 week ago on Our view: Economic turbulence ahead

Credit to the Pilot for following the County's lead into a necessary and not-so-rosy topic. An editorial highlighting this issue for community engagement 18 months before we vote on airline subsidies is the right approach. Also good that those answering a community survey have this heads up on economic challenges.

Certainly any real understanding of this issue requires putting solid numbers to the array of economic benefits flowing through the county airport. How much of our economy relies on the airport, and what is the actual benefit received for our tax subsidy of the airline program?


Steve Lewis 1 week, 2 days ago on Police chief, deputy chief investigation expected to last into June

The investigation is constrained to personnel matters? The investigator's independence and scope is already limited by her contract with the city.


Steve Lewis 1 week, 2 days ago on Yampa Valley airport faces a decade of austerity due to slow recovery in passenger numbers

Thanks Tom Ross,

We need better community understanding of this important economic hinge. Multi-year projections of future passengers are critical to that understanding.

This sentence puzzles me: "If Horton’s intentionally conservative projection of 2.6 percent annual growth in passenger numbers going forward at YVRA comes true, that would put annual enplanements at 108,163 in 2018 and 123,274 in 2023. The Airport would finally reach 140,500 departing passengers by 2028."

Was there some basis given for projecting 2.6% growth? The trend since 2008 is steady decline. Does Horton mention the role of our sales tax subsidy in his projection? Perhaps you could address these questions in subsequent airport/airline articles.


Steve Lewis 3 weeks, 1 day ago on City manager no longer overseeing investigation into police department

"... independent and full investigation conducted by an outside party with no affiliations with any community leaders, the City Council or the police department".

Words from the letter from former council presidents. I didn't understand the timing of the letter, seemed too soon, but I did understand that part of it. Everyone did, because it is the right advice.


Steve Lewis 3 weeks, 3 days ago on Steamboat City Council calls another special meeting to discuss police misconduct investigation

Scott, in regard to base assumptions, and who drives our government, you may find this council video (Sept 18 2012) informative. In particular view the council president's remarks from 4:17:33.

I attended that hearing, and later expected to hear the council president similarly advocating this project in public. What I observed instead was a very visible advocacy from Deb Hinsvark, even writing a newspaper column, and a relatively silent Kounovsky.

So when you write "her mistakes", I'm not so sure these were all her choice.


Steve Lewis 3 weeks, 3 days ago on Excessive force, excessive lawsuits

No, blacks are not on a level playing field with whites. Putting workplace and social casting aside, there are many fundamental differences in opportunity when starting from lower wealth. Nutritional deficiencies from conception throughout life. Educational opportunities limited mostly by personal income, but also by district income. Few neighboring examples of success in rising from these circumstances to emulate or follow.

Multiply this by the ignorant prejudices above.


Steve Lewis 3 weeks, 4 days ago on Citizens committee not ready to rule out west Steamboat for police station

"This process was started for the wrong reasons..."

I have to agree.

For another item, I happened to attend the Sept 18 2012 staff presentation to council on moving the police station. The packet included this prominent heading: "Think of Yampa as a Destination".

Jon Roberts, then city manager, said this in seeking a closing clarification on the Big Agnes offer, "There were two items lumped together on this agenda item. One is an economic development deal... and the other is trying to do something with the Iron Horse Inn..."

The police move has been portrayed as a means to other ends.

Today I've nothing but respect for these committee members. Trying to respect their work, but it seems we've skipped a step. While they debate the 'where', I'm lacking confidence in the 'why'.


Steve Lewis 3 weeks, 6 days ago on What is your vision for the proposed Workman property development?

Other: Yampa Street has a lot of potential. The least available and the least leveraged asset is the river itself. Our conversation of these river parks to date has always acknowledged a need to better access the river - i.e. insert "river park" accesses where we now have a long strip of private property. Charlie's Hole by the library gets quite crowded in summer. That use is a proven winner but too little of it is available.

I hope the 36% suggesting "Other" reflect my reaction that the list above may be missing the point of the park.


Steve Lewis 4 weeks ago on Excessive force, excessive lawsuits

Scott W,

A regrettable topic. Speculation and conjecture add absolutely nothing of value. The above article presents a beginning of the facts of the matter, and the beginning of my understanding it.