Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis 1 week, 3 days ago on Robin Stone: Can’t have and eat cake

Thank you Robin. Recent mail brought 4 uninvited offers to sell our home. Each one an offer to sell my soul. I needed to hear from someone like you. Please write more often.


Steve Lewis 1 week, 3 days ago on Forest Service seeks feedback on new Buffalo Pass trails

Hi Eric, my comment sent to the email address given at the RCR website was rejected. can you revise that for us? These look like awesome trails. Even better views than 1101 and 1102. Thanks for the work you are putting in.

I agree with Scott W's comment. Is there any talk about improving upper Buff Pass road?


Steve Lewis 1 week, 4 days ago on Plans to convert classic electrical co-op building to residential, commercial space go to city of Steamboat

Steve S,

I like your proposed remodel. Great preservation of architecture and of the feel of the street. Thanks for going that route.

In a general sense, I do wonder about the tradeoff between parking and retail/restaurant vitality. Parking is already tough some evenings. I see in your PC packet you are eliminating existing curb cuts so some new Yampa St parking spaces (where people could not previously park) are credited to you. But the packet mentions the parking lot on 10th Street across from the YVEA building is no longer available to support the uses of your remodeled building. The net change is fewer parking spaces.

It seems a trend is coming that we have no answer for. Another and larger question, given you may be the next owner of that parking lot on 10th Street: When parking is tight, how does it work when one develops over an existing parking lot?


Steve Lewis 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Community members: In support of URA, TIF

Perhaps everyone can agree, solid Steamboat URA facts and numbers are too hard to come by. The resulting void is not a healthy environment. The City loses trust when diligence is hard to see. The newspaper loses authority when more information and better accuracy is found in its blog than on its pages.

Asking the City for a copy of the URA consultant's reports (referenced in council packets), I'm told these are being updated. Some of it will be available next week. Will 1% inflation assumptions remain in the report? Will "25,000 square feet of additional commercial property in the downtown corridor" remain in the report?

In recent weeks, when it comes to putting facts on the table, one passionate school board member has taken us all back to school. Errors in Pilot articles, errors in the URA consultant's numbers, errors by City staff, errors by me. Painstaking steps to recount important words from Centennial Hall. Simple, common sense mistakes our professionals should have caught. It doesn't take a particular viewpoint to appreciate factual diligence like that. Thank you Scott Bideau.

Proponents of the URA should appreciate being challenged. You do want to get this right. If it is passed and budget strains come, the final consulting and staff presentations behind the URA will matter again. You cannot possibly be happy with assumptions of 1% inflation making it into further City presentations. (Thank you Scott Ford.)


Steve Lewis 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Community members: In support of URA, TIF

"Urban renewal authorities give developers a property tax break, known as tax increment financing, for up to 25 years. The policy is good for cities trying to redevelop run-down areas, but counties and other taxing entities funded by property taxes say that the money the projects pour into cities is drained from their coffers, while their costs to deal with these projects go up immediately.

From that perspective, the tax break for local hotel and mall developments has cost Eagle County schools $9.4 million since 2007, and the county government $3.9 million over the same period. The state provides money to cover the schools’ lost revenues, but not the counties, and county officials want a bigger piece of that pie up front."

"As a result of the Gallagher Amendment, the assessment rate for residential property has declined by more than two-thirds over the years because of Colorado’s population growth and because of increases in residential real estate values. The net effect has been a marked decline in revenues collected from property tax, which prior to Gallagher, provided the majority of school funding."


Steve Lewis 2 weeks, 3 days ago on City outlines potential timeline for downtown improvements

Actually, Martha is right. Certainly about the last vote. The "No BID, No URA" motion from City Council was well publicized. The campaign for the BID carried this message from City Council in bold print. The stakeholders did vote against the URA.

For the life of me, I cannot think of any reason for a city councilor to make that motion, "No BID,No URA". Name one reason, and then tell me why it no longer matters today.

It is likely that downtown property owners will pay half the cost of any new sidewalks required adjacent to their property.


Steve Lewis 3 weeks, 3 days 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 3 weeks, 4 days 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?