Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Donít be fooled by county tax levy


    In response to the recent editorial “Payments or Potholes” and to the letter from Char Nelson, supporting the proposed two-year road tax levy, there is another view that Sun Valley property owners, as well as property owners in Ketchum and Hailey, need to know.
    The Sun Valley City Council unanimously voted to decline to write a letter to the county endorsing the proposed levy. There were many good reasons, among them the following:
    Per Ms. Nelson, the tax impact on Sun Valley property owners would be a levy of $100 per year for two years for each $100,000 of assessed value. Based upon information received from the county tax assessor, the average assessed value of a Sun Valley property is $684,677.30, thus the levy impact is $684.68 per year or $1,369.36 for two years. This is in addition to the recent increase in taxes due to increased valuations. Ketchum and Hailey property owners will be proportionately affected.
    Cities must pay for their own roads out of tax money in addition to what the county is trying to tack on. I believe that the cities are capable of maintaining their own roads without any revenue sharing from the county (not usable for bike paths) provided in the levy. It is significant to note the county does not maintain Highway 75 or 20, nor will any levy funds go towards those roads, which are the most heavily traveled roads in Blaine County.
    Ms. Nelson’s letter acknowledges that the county has depleted road reserves. The county failed to adequately plan to replace those reserves, and now wants the city taxpayers to foot the bill.
    Do we really believe that the proposed levy will be only for two years? After two years, my guess is that the county will seek a levy renewal or permanent road levy. Don’t be fooled.
    Finally, the foregoing is my personal view and not necessarily the view of my City Council colleagues.
KEITH W. SAKS
Sun Valley City Council president




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