ASPEN REAL ESTATE — What to do with a $3.5 million property tax windfall in Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails Program vexed county commissioners Tuesday. They are expected to tackle the issue again Wednesday.With Commissioner Patti Clapper absent, commissioners George Newman and Rachel Richards favored foregoing some, but not all, of the windfall. But Commissioner Michael Owsley argued the county should keep the revenues and continue adding to the county’s open space and trails legacy while land prices are down and trail construction is cheaper.Commissioner Jack Hatfield advocated foregoing all of the additional money except what would be allowed under state taxation limits (from which the program has been exempted by voters), to acknowledge the difficult economic times many locals are facing.The Open Space and Trails Board was divided over what to do with the windfall during budget deliberations last month, but recommended Tuesday that the county retain the money.
By Janet Urquhart, Nov. 18, 2009 Aspen Times

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