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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 19, 2018 8:23 pm 
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Science Chic wrote:
It's a shame that the OP is mis-characterizing this Evergreen Local Improvement District as something that it is not. If you don't wish to support it, that's one thing and certainly your right, but to make outright false claims as to what it is and what they are trying to do in order to drum up outrage and opposition against it is another. I urge everyone to do their homework and get informed on this topic and draw their own conclusions.

No, ELID does NOT create another layer of government and the proposed 1% tax increase is separate from the creation of this district; the tax increase must be placed on the ballot and approved by a majority vote of those within the ELID district boundaries, the creation of the district is fully within control of the Jeffco Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Forming ELID creates an official entity that other government entities such as CDOT can now formally contract with so that any funds they collect (whether voluntary or an approved tax) they can apply toward the projects that have been chosen by the community as priorities. The ELID will be administered by the current Jeffco Commissioners and staff and overseen by an Advisory Committee appointed by the BOCC and consisting of residential property owners, business property owners, and business owners. That Advisory Committee would have a minimum of one public town hall meeting per year in order to gather community input on project priorities as well as at least 2 meetings per year with the BOCC for updates on progress on projects. All funds collected within the ELID go into a separate account and can ONLY be spent on projects designated by the ELID - it is not money that the county can touch or use for anything else. It stays all within the community.

It is NOT a 22% tax increase. It's a 1% sales tax increase, not property tax increase, that would apply to both residents and tourists alike when shopping within ELIDs boundaries - those who use the roads and sidewalks - and would bring in much-needed revenue in order to do maintenance that the county isn't doing now on crumbling infrastructure in and around Evergreen. It is not permanent as it would sunset in 15 years.

Could it hurt business? Yes, it is possible that some will choose to shop elsewhere to avoid the additional charge; however, even with a 1% increase, Evergreen's sales tax is still one of the lowest in Jefferson County AND based on a survey that the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce sent out, 65% of business owners who responded said they are in favor of the tax increase so they are willing to incur any detriment in order to benefit Evergreen as a whole. Quite likely, they feel that leaving Evergreen to crumble and decay will hurt business more than a 1% tax increase. If a tax were voted on and approved, it would replace the current, voluntarily-collected 1% sales tax by some businesses.

The projects that have been listed are what the ELID group has collated after holding 5 community meetings in various locations in order to solicit feedback on what improvements residents and business owners would like to see happen. They are not exclusively from the small grassroots group that is spearheading this effort. They are not "urban" projects, they are to fix what's in disrepair now, and has been for years, in order to keep Evergreen beautiful, maintained, and safer. If you are wondering what it is that needs to be fixed or is unsafe, watch that YouTube video above, and see the pictures that Linda Kirkpatrick posted in her JustAroundHere article that we have in our ELID topic.


I will need to respond here because you have accused me of mis-characterizing this Evergreen Local Improvement District, and I have not. I'm simply telling the truth about DEED, The information that DEED has witheld from the Evergreen Community.

Here is what DEED is not telling us...

DEED keeps claiming that ELID is not another layer of government... BUT is is. It is the creation of a brand new Sales Tax Authority Under Title 30 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. It is a separate layer of government- in addition to Jefferson County. It is a completely separate source of Tax Revenue for the County. If it wasn't, there would be no need to create a "Tax District". Jefferson County could simply ask for a sales tax increase under the County Authority. Ultimately, Jefferson County will be in control of this new tax authority, and they do not need to follow any recommendations from the ELID board, and they could even spend the money on other areas, as they are doing now with property taxes they collect from Evergreen and Conifer.

The DEED group claims that the ELID is not another layer of Government. It is a new layer no matter who makes the spending decisions. On June 22, 2017 DEED States the following in their letter To Jefferson County Commissioners...

"Greater DEED must create a "government" in order to be able to fully engage with some of its partners, and Greater DEED needs a permanent revenue source that will satisfy lenders.” When you say "create a government", that is exactly what it means!
Here is the letter... READ it for yourself!

http://www.elidevergreen.co.nf/PDFDOCS/Greaterdeedletter.pdf

DEED also states the following in that same letter...
"We propose that the Greater DEED board of directors appoint the ELID advisory committee for an initial period of four years while the district stabilizes" So the Evergreen community would be locked out of any decisions for 4 years by DEED, unable to do anything. 4 years and By then DEED will have mortgaged up all the TAX revenue with bonds, and nothing can be done by the community to change anything anyway.

This is NOT a democratic process... This is a dictatorship they are creating!

In my next post I will address the math. A Sales tax increase from 4.5% to 5.5% is a 22% increase in Sales Taxes. If you disagree, then you need to go back to math class!


Last edited by BearMtnHIB on May 19, 2018 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 19, 2018 9:47 pm 
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Note that they had the word "government" in quotes. Not "create a government" but just "government". No additional layer of government will be created because it is a district that will be administered by the existing Jeffco government - no new employees hired, no new mayor or other regulatory body that makes any rules about Evergreen at all.
https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-30-g ... 0-603.html


Yes, it is a separate source of revenue for the county; however, by setting it up as a local improvement district the funds that are raised within that district cannot legally be spent on anything else but projects within that district so it's not like this will become a slush fund for the county that they can dip into whenever they feel like. It's exactly the same as if you donated to a nonprofit and put a restriction on what that donation can pay for. This claim "DEED will have mortgaged up all the TAX revenue with bonds" makes no sense - DEED is a separate organization from the ELID once ELID is formed and they will not have access to any of the funds.

In regards to your assertion that this is a dictatorship they are creating, that's simply silly. I do believe that the letter that you have linked to was their initial draft and they subsequently found out that they couldn't appoint anyone, it had to be the commissioners from the get-go, but I could be wrong about that. Feel free to contact ELID for clarification before assuming anything. Regardless, they wouldn't bother with holding 5 community meetings and soliciting feedback from the community about projects that they have included in the recommended list, or set it up so that residential property owners would be included on the Advisory Board, if they were creating a "dictatorship."

Yes, it is a democratic process because every property owner within the ELID boundary will be able to vote on the proposed tax increase.

http://www.evergreenlid.org/voter-guide/

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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 19, 2018 9:56 pm 
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No it is not democratic if DEED makes all the recommendations for 4 years on which projects they borrow money to construct. Once the money is bonded, the Evergreen Community will not be able to change anything. I would suggest that only ONE DEED member be appointed to the board, and the rest be others from the Evergreen community appointed by the county for the first 4 years. That would be democratic.

A Sales tax increase from 4.5% to 5.5% is a 22% increase in Sales Taxes. In fact some have argued that ELID would actually be a 300% increase in Jefferson County Sales taxes. Here is why...

This is the Current Sales Tax Jurisdiction Breakdown For Evergreen
Colorado: 2.9%
Jefferson County: 0.5%
Evergreen: 0%
Special Sales Taxes: 1.1%

Total is 4.5%

The total Jefferson County sales tax is only a part of the total sales tax. Currently the Jefferson County portion is only 0.5%. Add ELID on top of that and Evergreen now has 1.5%, 3 times the current Jefferson County portion.

ELID will extract by force, $900,000.00 (Nine hundred thousand dollars) from the Evergreen economy every year for 15 years. In total, that's 13.5 million dollars leaving the local economy in Evergreen and going into government so they can construct projects that are not really needed. Fact is that Evergreen businesses and residents already paid for these improvements through property taxes. That's what they collect our property taxes for- to improve and maintain infrastructure.

And Of that 13.5 million dollars that ELID will cost us in new taxes, The Evergreen community will only benefit by 7.4 million in improvements according to Jefferson County Staff. This is because the cost of bonding, borrowing, interest payments and other administrative fees will burn up the remaining 6.1 million dollars. Yes, Youread that correctly- 6.1 million of the 13.5 is wasted. Does that sound like a good deal? This is a bad idea for Evergreen.

The Jefferson County’s financial adviser recommends 10-year debt so that the debt is paid off before the end of the useful life of the asset and significant maintenance or replacement costs begin. ELID will begin with a 15 year term, and add to that with each successful election. It means that the useful life of the ELID assets will be over before they are paid for! Does that sound like a good deal?

If you buy a new (or used) car or truck, when you go to register it, the DMV will charge you sales taxes (and other fees). Lets say for example you buy a car for 28K. Now the DMV will charge you $1,260.00 Sales tax. After ELID, that number will jump to $1,540.00. The same thing will happen if you build a deck, or otherwise make a large purchase of building materials for your house. If you hire a contractor, then she will add those costs into her construction bid.

Many businesses are running a razor thin profit margin in Evergreen. Right now every business needs to overcome a 4.5% Sales tax just to break even. ELID will raise that burden to 5.5%. Many businesses operate at lower margins than 5%, especially high volume , low margin establishments like food and beverage businesses. For some business, this is just the start of the cost of running a business. Just ask a business owner! Rents are going up because the County just raised property tax valuations by more than 20%, and some commercial property will experience a 40% increase. Other costs are also increasing, such as permit fees and occupational license fees. Food and Beverage license fees have also been increasing.

It just means that these businesses will be raising their prices on almost everything. Businesses pass those costs onto their customers, or they will go out of business. It also means that consumers like me get to pay much more in the future for just about everything. This will hurt lower income families, and retired and elderly folks who are on a fixed income. And all this pain, For what? - For some new sidewalks and a few roundabouts.

DEED totally low balled the cost of their projects. Jefferson County staff even predicts that the actual costs of their projects could be 3 times what is estimated. It means that ELID will need much more than 1%. They fully intend to come back with each election to ask for another Sales Tax rate increase.

ELID Sales Taxes just START at 5.5%. In order to pay for their projects, the actual tax rate needs to be Much higher, and DEED intends to drive it up. They have stated this in letters they wrote to the County. And I will post those documents.


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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 20, 2018 8:43 am 
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And once the debt is in place, how will you ever end ELID? I cannot imagine forcing my neighbors to pay for my pet projects by creating a government tax for them. Increased overhead like this increases the gap between the haves and have-nots. People who have money will force people who do not, to pay for what they want. Nice work there.

A solution is to get those who want it together and they can tax themselves, perhaps based on income so they may start to realize how regressive sales taxes are?


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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 20, 2018 8:49 am 
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ELID offers so much more to the community than roundabouts. The sales tax isn’t a 22% increase as the tax doesn’t apply to groceries, gasoline, etc. If you shop in Evergreen you’re probably already paying the extra 1% sales tax as around 30 businesses already voluntarily collect it. The sales tax IS NOT permanent and will sunset. ELID is the best solution without having to incorporate and permanently raising property taxes.

YES for ELID https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/yes-for-elid

The Evergreen Local Improvement District (ELID) is designed to preserve our mountain culture and community from infrastructure over-use and under-repair. As a grassroots initiative working with the County to develop a list of improvement projects, we will be able to address the infrastructure challenges residents find most pressing.


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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 20, 2018 10:01 am 
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daisypusher wrote:
And once the debt is in place, how will you ever end ELID? I cannot imagine forcing my neighbors to pay for my pet projects by creating a government tax for them. Increased overhead like this increases the gap between the haves and have-nots. People who have money will force people who do not, to pay for what they want. Nice work there.

A solution is to get those who want it together and they can tax themselves, perhaps based on income so they may start to realize how regressive sales taxes are?


This is exactly what it does. Once in place, ELID will never end. The plan is to come back again and again with each election and ask for more money. Individual projects will sunset, but the ELID will not. It will be a thorn in our side forever.

The claim that groceries are not taxed is not correct either. Many items are subject to ELID tax at the grocery stores. Want to buy a load of bread baked in the bakery? That will be taxed. An item from the deli? Taxed. Anything that is prepared on site would be subject to this new sales tax. Gasoline is exempt from local sales tax because there is a Federal and State tax on Gas.

The day that DEED started to promote this ELID was the day they stopped being a volunteer, non-profit group. I was a supporter of the volunteer tax. A volunteer tax means that those who can afford it can pay, without forcing those who can't. But once DEED started looking to force a sales tax on everyone, they lost me. DEED is now a political group with ambitions for public money.

It's a shame because together, we could get Jeffco and CDOT to maintain our existing infrastructure with existing taxes without any need for a new Sales Tax.


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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 20, 2018 11:23 am 
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rg1417 wrote:
ELID offers so much more to the community than roundabouts. The sales tax isn’t a 22% increase as the tax doesn’t apply to groceries, gasoline, etc. If you shop in Evergreen you’re probably already paying the extra 1% sales tax as around 30 businesses already voluntarily collect it. The sales tax IS NOT permanent and will sunset. ELID is the best solution without having to incorporate and permanently raising property taxes.


What communities have implemented and then sunset the tax? History is a good teacher here.


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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 20, 2018 11:30 am 
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The area where Southwest Plaza is located is in unincorporated Jeffco. They created a LID (local improvement district) in the 1980’s which had a sunset tax. The LID was so successful residents voted to continue the tax. I’m not sure how many times it has sunset and voted back. Because Southwest Plaza area LID has been successful it was suggested to DEED by the County to propose an ELID for Evergreen.


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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 20, 2018 11:36 am 
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Here is an excerpt (paragraphs 7-9) from an e-mail that was sent to the county by the president of DEED on 9.1.2017. I call it the "rinse and repeat" email.

Here DEED is explaining their intent on how the ELID would work...

Quote:
7) With the list of specific projects defined and vetted by the county, a tax
measure will be written for the November 2018 TABOR election ballot and
Greater DEED will work at the grassroots level to ensure popular support.

8 ) Voters will vote on the tax. If successful, those projects begin. If
unsuccessful, the ELID remains in existence, continues work on the selffunded
projects, and Greater DEED goes back to the project list to refine it
for better community support in the next TABOR election.

9) Rinse and repeat every 10-15 years as projects sunset. Steps 6-8
would be undertaken by future Evergreen community leaders. Greater
DEED has no intentions of dissolving after the ELID is formed, and may be
the group that is tasked to continue the efforts through each sunset.


As you can see- there is no plan for a sunset here. The southwest plaza is the only other LID in Jefferson County. There was a plan to sunset that LID- but it never happened. They came back each election and asked for more money. The lid is now more than 30 years old. People call it "successful", yes it is because there's a constant supply of shoppers who go to the mall. The Southwest LID continues to extract money from those businesses and the shoppers who are probably mostly unaware of the LID tax.

PS- This information may be a surprise for many DEED members, This may be info that the DEED "elite" is not telling it's members. Not only are there no plans to sunset the ELID, There appears to be a plan to do just the opposite- run a campain to keep the ELID forever. DEED says it may be the group that "is tasked" to "continue the efforts". Who is the authority that is "tasking" a group to continue the effort? Or is DEED appointing itself the task?

Inquiring minds wanna know!


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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 20, 2018 12:56 pm 
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Hi BearMtnHIB I appreciate your passion for Evergreen and preserving our little piece of heaven we have here. I am on the Board of ELID and many of your statements are inaccurate. If the sales tax is passed by the voters in November it will absolutely sunset within the period stated. The ONLY way to continue the sales tax after the initial sunset is for it to go back on the ballot and have residents vote to approve it. If Evergreen residents decide the tax didn’t serve its purpose they can vote against it. That’s the beauty of the ELID tax is that it isn’t permanent and the residents can decide if they want to continue or not. There is no hidden agenda or alterior motives within the DEED Board. We are all just Evergreen citizens who want to preserve and sustain our mountain community. We all do this on a volunteer basis and are completely transparent.


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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 20, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Hi there rg1417,

I am not on any board, just a long time resident of Evergreen. Since you are on the board, can you show me any documentation where DEED intends the ELID to sunset? If you read through my last post you will see there is evidence of the opposite. I am not posting the whole e-mail at this time, since all of your email addresses are on it.

Many of us attended the first community meeting and also attended the workshops. We did voice our concerns after that first meeting on June 6, 2017.
Since Dean did not allow any public comments or questions during the meeting. Many of us are wondering what happened to all the concerns that residents raised? Can you show me any response to our concerns?

Our experience that that DEED just ignored them. Please prove me wrong. I wrote my concern on the card that DEED provided after the meeting, but never heard anything more about it. The meetings appeared to us to be highly controlled in a manner that kept the Evergreen community out of the debate process.

Please, show us where you addressed the community concerns.


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 Post subject: Re: ELID - 22% Higher Sales Tax in Evergreen
Post Posted: May 20, 2018 1:31 pm 
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Hi BearMtnHIB
Here is the link to our ELID website that states the tax will sunset and voters will determine its future.

http://www.evergreenlid.org/voter-guide/

I’m not sure if the link takes you directly to the question “How long will ELID last” but you can find it under Vision FAQ’s second to last question.

You asked how DEED has addressed community concerns. On the website under each topic there is a FAQ section. These questions were taken from community meetings, workshops, and emails and answered under the appropriate topic.

Personally (not that it matters) I am a fiscal conservative and have never voted for a tax. The only reason I am for this is because Evergreen is unincorporated and has no dedicated funds which stay within Evergreen. Our roads and sidewalks are crumbling and there simply isn’t any funding dedicated for this. If you live in any town surrounding Evergreen there is a city sales tax that serves to build and maintain infrastructure. Evergreen does not have this tax and it’s necessary for long term sustainability.


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