Pitkin County mulls property tax measures but commissioners want to talk to citizens first

ASPEN REAL ESTATE — Pitkin County commissioners want to sit down in citizens’ kitchens and chat in order to find out what they want out of their county government — and what they’re willing to pay for.Commissioners, contemplating taking property tax measures to a populace that is struggling with soaring property tax bills, unemployment and a soured economy, agreed Thursday that touching base with their constituents should be the first step.Long-term budget projections that suggest the county could be operating in the red to the tune of $1.8 million in a decade has the government contemplating additional revenue sources. The county’s sales tax revenue has taken a big, recession-fueled hit, and no one is sure when it will recover, or to what extent.Among the most pressing issues is roads and bridges, funded from the county’s general fund. The expenditure for capital projects on roads and bridges was cut to $400,000 in 2010 to help balance the county budget. That sum is down from what had been about $1.8 million to $1.9 million in annual spending.
BY Janet Urquhart, Feb. 5, 2010 Aspen Times

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