Announcement: Boulder County 2017 Budget Hearing – We Need You!

FOR ZERO PROPERTY TAX INCREASES. FOR KEEPING BOULDERITES IN BOULDER.

By: Leora Frankel

NEW: see Leora’s Guest Opinion in the Longmont Times-Call: Speak up now about your property taxes.

At meetings held in my Melody-Catalpa neighborhood, participants identified property taxes as one of their top concerns. For many Boulder seniors, further escalations threaten to drive them from their homes (even with the tax break provided by the Senior Homestead Act). The taxes have a harsh impact on low-to-medium earning families and singles, threatening to make our neighborhoods a barren landscape of economic homogeneity. For the purpose of illustration, we looked at the taxes of three modest, unimproved houses on our block. Between 2014 and 2015, taxes on these homes rose by 41%, 29%, and 21%. Our 80-something year old neighbor who lives in the home with the highest increase says she will be forced to return to Wyoming where she was born – after living in Boulder for more than 50 years!

What you can do:

  1. With the Boulder County 2017 budget on the table, you can write NOW to the three County commissioners to demand a zero percent increase in property taxes next year.

Cindy Domenico – cdomenico@bouldercounty.org

Deb Gardner – dgardner@bouldercounty.org

Elise Jones – ejones@bouldercounty.org

  1. Attend and speak at the 2017 budget hearing on:

When:  Tuesday, October 25, 4:00-6:00

Arrive no later than 3:45 to sign up to speak. You can also pool minutes, i.e. give your time to a different speaker.

NEW: Property Tax Talking Points

Location: Old Courthouse, 1325 Pearl St., 3rd Floor

ALSO: Tell your friends.

Please note that while the County Commissioners cannot control the appraised value of our homes, they can adjust the mill levy to prevent taxes from going up. As the Longmont Times-Call stated in February of this year: “Last year, some local governments in Boulder County who rely on property taxes to help fund their annual budgets had at least some discretion about reducing their mill levies to offset the increased taxes facing property owners this year as a result of the higher taxable values assigned to those properties last spring. None of the major tax-collecting units in the county — the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley school districts, Boulder County, and the cities of Boulder and Longmont — did so.”

Consider including in your letters or “speeches” the following: personal impact of the taxes; the effect of rapid, disproportionate commercial growth on the appraised values of old, modest homes; the effect of McMansions and “scrapes” on the appraised values of old, modest homes; the need to shift the conversation about affordability towards keeping the existing, struggling residents in Boulder. Perhaps, most importantly, the increase in home values doesn’t, in any way, lead to increased expenses for the County! These two are not correlated; there is no reason to burden the people living here with unaffordable taxes just because the market is driving up home prices. The County and the City should tax development, instead.

QUESTIONS/SUGGESTIONS: email Leora Frankel at LEOQUILL@GMAIL.COM