The Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation District (AKA MetRec) is pursuing Ballot Issue 6B in the November 2022 election for only the North Subdistrict (i.e., the North Valley). Ballot issue 6B asks voters whether to approve a 2.0 Mill Levy increase (from 1.0 to 3.0) for property owners in the North Subdistrict, which roughly includes only property owners north of Round Mountain.
The 2.0 Mill Levy can only be spent on North Subdistrict initiatives, which include:
· funding capital recreation projects
· funding non-profit recreation operations
· funding municipal and nonmunicipal recreation projects
No funds will be spent on MetRec operations, including administration and TV operations.
Currently, the total amount of Gunnison Mill Levy Property Taxes is for a Town of Crested Butte resident is 68.991. Therefore, a 2 Mill increase to 70.991 will increase residential property taxes by 2.9% in the North Subdistrict.
For a $1,000,000 home with an assessed tax of $69,500, the 2.0 MetRec Mill Levy would cost $139 more than the current $69.50. In other words, residential property taxes will increase by $13.90 per $100,000 of property value. If passed, the new Mill Levy revenue will be capped at $930,000 in its first year.
MetRec’s mission is to provide recreation opportunities to the general public in Gunnison County. MetRec began as the Gunnison County Television, Inc. community group over 40 years ago, in 1978, when outlying communities had no access to television. Since 1978 the television landscape and the recreation needs of our community have changed, and MetRec’s mission has broadened to include support of a wide range of recreational opportunities.
Arguments in favor of Ballot Issue 6B:
MetRec’s 2019 Recreation Needs Assessment Survey and follow-on conversations revealed that winter and summer trails, a recreation center, hockey facilities, soccer fields, and stewardship were the greatest needs for the North Valley. The North Valley recreation community is unique because non-profits provide vital recreation services without stable governmental funding. Therefore, one of MetRec’s goals is to help recreation non-profits secure a sustainable funding future for recreation projects and operations.
The North Valley is also unique because it is comprised of two small towns (Town of CB and Mt. CB), the Crested Butte South POA, and other communities like Skyland, Riverland, Riverbend, Buckhorn, and Meridian Lake, which all essentially utilize common regional recreation services. Naturally, individual towns and communities are hesitant to pay the cost of developing regional recreational capital projects. Metropolitan Recreation Districts were created in Colorado to solve regional recreational problems. The Ballot Issue 6B 2.0 Mill Levy won’t solve all of them. However, it will empower the various stakeholders to start working together more strategically towards common, vital regional recreation goals. And it will have an immediate impact on non-profit capital projects and operations.
It would also increase residential property taxes by just 2.9% and cost only $139 more in property taxes for a $1,000,000 home next year.
Arguments Against Ballot Issue 6B:
Ballot Issue 6B will increase property taxes for property owners in the North Subdistrict by 2.9% or $13.90 per $100,000 of assessed property value. MetRec’s total districtwide fiscal spending is estimated to be $789,557 in 2022, and Ballot Issue 6B will add $930,000 that can be spent by MetRec in just the North Subdistrict. There are nonprofit organizations whose mission is to provide, maintain, and support recreational opportunities in the North Valley in addition to local governments and property owners associations who also support recreational opportunities.
There are also other ballot issues in the November election that are asking Gunnison County property owners to increase their property taxes. Much of the revenue raised by Ballot Issue 6B will not be spent directly by MetRec on recreational opportunities but will be provided to local nonprofits and municipalities to support local recreational opportunities.
SHALL THE NORTH SUBDISTRICT OF GUNNISON COUNTY METROPOLITAN RECREATION DISTRICT TAXES BE INCREASED BY AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $930,000.00 IN 2023 (THE FIRST FISCAL YEAR), AND BY WHATEVER AMOUNTS MAY BE GENERATED ANNUALLY THEREAFTER BY AN IMPOSITION OF AN ADDITIONAL MILL LEVY OF 2.0 MILLS FOR A NEW TOTAL MILL LEVY OF 3.0 MILLS UPON TAXABLE PROPERTY WITHIN THE NORTHERN SUBDISTRICT, OR SUCH LESSER AMOUNT AS THE BOARD OF THE GUNNISON COUNTY METROPOLITAN RECREATION DISTRICT MAY ANNUALLY DETERMINE COMMENCING WITH TAXES COLLECTED IN 2023 FOR TAXES DUE FOR 2022.
THE FUNDS SHALL BE USED WITHIN THE BOUNDERIES OF THE NORTH SUBDISTRICT FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES:
30-60% OF SUCH FUNDS SHALL BE ALLOCATED FOR THE PURPOSES OF CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION OF TRAILS, FIELDS, HOCKEY RINKS, CULTURAL CENTERS, RECREATION CENTERS, OR OTHER PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS, ACCESSIBLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, THAT SUPPORT CULTURAL OR ACTIVE RECREATION (OTHER THAN TELEVISION) AND/OR THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY OR EASEMENTS THAT PERMANENTLY PROVIDE OR SUPPORT ACCESS TO SUCH RECREATION. SUCH FUNDS MAY BE SPENT ANNUALLY OR PUT IN A CAPITAL RESERVE FUND;
30-60% OF SUCH FUNDS SHALL BE ALLOCATED FOR THE PURPOSES OF SUPPORTING LOCAL NONPROFITS THAT SUPPORT RECREATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO OPERATIONS, TRAIL MAINTENANCE, ACCESS, EDUCATION, SAFETY, AND EQUIPMENT. THE DISTRICT MUST SPEND THESE FUNDS ANNUALLY;
10-40% OF SUCH FUNDS SHALL BE ALLOCATED TO ANY MUNICIPALITY OR GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR LOCAL NON-PROFIT FOR THE PURPOSES OF MAINTAINING THE QUALITY OF RECREATIONAL EXPERIENCES BY PROPERTY TAX OWNERS ON LANDS ACCESSIBLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, INCLUDING OPERATING AND/OR CAPITAL COSTS, SUCH AS BUT NOT LIMITED TO CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE OF TRAILS, BATHROOMS, PARKING, SIGNAGE, EDUCATION, AND ENFORCEMENT. SUCH FUNDS MAY BE SPENT ANNUALLY OR PUT IN A CAPITAL RESERVE FUND.
AND SHALL THE DISTRICT BE AUTHORIZED TO COLLECT AND RETAIN AND SPEND ALL REVENUES FROM SUCH TAXES AND THE EARNINGS FROM THE INVESTMENT OF SUCH REVENUES WITH FUNDS MANAGED IN AN ACCOUNT DEDICATED TO SUPPORTING INITIATIVES IDENTIFIED IN THIS BALLOT MEASURE AND NECESSARILY SEPARATE FROM GENERAL DISTRICT FUNDS AS A VOTER APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE AND AN EXCEPTION TO THE LIMITS WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE APPLY UNDER ARTICLE X SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION OR SECTION 29-1- 301 COLORADO REVISED STATUTES OR ANY OTHER LAW?