“This is a question of tax fairness,” said Commissioner Rachel Richards. “Whatever one property is exempted from, it ends up placing a greater burden on other properties.”…“Even in Woody Creek, where I live, people who have far more land than I do pay far less taxes than I do,” said Commissioner Michael Owsley. “It doesn’t seem quite right.”

ASPEN PITKIN COUNTY REAL ESTATE — Pitkin County is keeping tabs on a statewide effort to revamp the agricultural exemption that lets homeowners pay substantially lower property taxes because, for example, they let cattle graze in their subdivision.Misuse of the exemption has long been a sore spot for Colorado resort communities, where land values are high. But counties around the state have joined places like Pitkin County in calling for change, said County Attorney John Ely. He was in Denver Wednesday for the latest in a series of meetings by a task force appointed by the state Legislature, with the involvement of Colorado Counties Inc., a lobbying organization. Across the state, landowners who are not “really, truly engaged in agriculture” are realizing tax benefits because their land is classified as agricultural, Ely told county commissioners during an update Tuesday on the task force’s work.
By Janet Urquhart, August 19, 2010 Aspen Times

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