Sunrise after a fresh Spring Snowfall

Sometimes the best part of a Spring Snowfall is the High Pressure system that fills in behind it.  Fresh Snow and a Golden Sunrise on tap for today – Wednesday, April 5th 2017.  Ten more Days till the Taxman demands his cut of your Labor…

(Click On the Photo to Enlarge it)



Spring ? Two Steps Forward – one Step Back

by  Clayton Moore

Springtime here in the Colorado Rockies is always a mixed bag.  One day Sunny and Warm – the next day Snow.  Some of our favorite Spring photos are below –  showing a diversity of “time between blooming”.

Photo Note:  The site in Eagle County where these photos were taken – is the same.  Only the Dates on the photos are different.


April 1st 2017


April 26th 2016


Eagle County’s – Property Tax Bomb – Is ticking away…

The Fuse has been lit.  In less than (10) months the new 2018 Eagle County Property Tax Explosion – will Detonate…and you’ll be forced to pay up!

The information (about your Eagle County Property Taxes) recently printed in the Vail Daily (Rondeau P. A6 -23MAR) was inaccurate and wildly misleading. Here are the FACTS.

1 – Your Property Taxes on Commercial and Residential are going UP next Year (2018) and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

3A-Ballot-Clip2 – This new (Taxpayer Voted on/approved Nov. 2016) Property Tax increase is due to EC School District Ballot Issue 3B.

3 – The Property Tax increase you’ve already experienced on your January 2017 Bill is due to EC School District Ballot Issue 3A also approved by the EC majority voter in November 2016.

It turns out…our EC School District did not actually “Bond” for the additional Debt (3B) until (approximately) the last week of January 2017 – Bond Term 20 years . By that time your (2017) Property Tax Bill had already been printed and U.S. Mailed with the EC School District’s increased Mill Levy to – 25.209 Mills, reflecting the additional Tax increase for (3A). 3A’s Tax obligation covers the additional $8Million/yr. expense spending by the School District – till December 31st 2023. Comparing the Debt Service Property Tax obligation of 3A vs. 3B is like comparing a Firecracker to a Nuclear explosion.

How much will my Residential and Commercial Property Taxes go up next Year?

Answer: As of March 2017 – it’s impossible to say (exactly) how much. Why? Two major factors need to be considered. First, per Colorado State Statue a “State Wide” Property “re-evaluation” is already underway by the EC Assessors office. Expect to see your new Property Valuation official letter from our Assessors office this Summer 2017. That new Eagle County Property Valuation is expected to be higher (in most cases) than the Property Valuation you received – two years earlier.

Second is the “rebalancing effect” of the Colorado Gallagher Amendment that will be3B-Ballot-Language-November-2016 enforced soon. Per State Statue – Property Tax Rates are different between Commercial and Residential Property. Currently, Residential being 7.96% and Commercial at 29%.

Some Colorado Tax advisors believe a Residential Tax Rate will likely drop below 7.96% – due to the increase in Colorado’s population (mostly on the Front Range) and the fact there are more new Homes paying Property Tax.

Know This: Regardless of the variable effects of Gallagher and Property Re-Assessment – the new annual/additional Debt Service School Bond obligations MUST be paid each Tax year to come.

Time will tell exactly – however what you need to know is that your Eagle County Property Taxes will unquestionably go UP – in January 2018…far more than, Jason Glass and your elected School Board members– are willing to “publically admit” to you today.

Vail’s Golden Peak – now at Risk?

There are now more questions than answers concerning the future of Vail’s Golden Peak – Ski Racing area.

Some believe there is a plan afoot to RESTRICT the use of Public Land –to- Public Use.

Case in Point:  How Vail’s existing Gold Peak Ski area might be dedicated to (exclusive?) Ski Racing use in the future.

Consider the fact that the cost of your Epic Mix Ski Pass – keeps going up – yet the Public Use of certain sections of Vail Mountain may be dedicated to a use – that restricts your  (Skiing/Snowboarding) on that part of Vail Mountain.


The U.S. Forest Service (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) is asking for your input on a proposed future use of the Golden Peak area of Vail Mountain.

(Click Here to leave a comment for the Forest Service)

(below a reprint by permission from the Vail Home Owners Association)

Vail Resorts is moving forward with its plans to expand Skiing on Golden Peak, primarily, to provide more race course terrain for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail.  Although somewhat scaled back from earlier plans, the proposal now includes 42 acres of new ski trials, one new lift, snowmaking and related facilities.  The area of the expansion is to the east and above the current Golden Peak facilities.

The U.S. Forest Service has just issued a call for public comments on the “Golden Peak Improvements Project” as a prerequisite to an Environmental Impact Statement. Comments are due by May 1, 2017. Those submitting comments will receive future information about this project as the process goes forward.

Vail Homeowners Association has already received expressions of concern with respect to:

* The semiprivate nature of the improvements.

* Impact of known avalanche zones located between the proposed race course and adjacent residential     properties.

* Aesthetic effects upon a signature view.

* The effects of increased congestion upon the Golden Peak ski terrain and neighborhood.

* Impacts upon parking, traffic and mass transit service.

The Association urges affected parties to become involved and forward their comments to the USFS by May 1, 2017.

Additional information will be available at a public open house on April 6, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Forest Service Holy Cross Office, 24747 US Highway 24, Minturn, Colorado 81645.

Please review the attached USFS public notice for further detail.   (Click Here)

The County Commissioner – with Answers

by the fans of St. Matthew

Faces in the Vail Crowd?  With Answers?  Sometimes you have to know (as St. Matthew would say) – where to seek – so ye can find.  Eagle County Commissioner Kathy moonlighting as a forthright Red Jacket “information gal” – has been known to conduct her own (informal) survey of our Ski Tourists – while riding the Chairlifts on Vail Mountain.  What has she learned?  That Tourists flying into Eagle County – invariably like to visit the Gypsum Costco on their way to start their Ski Holiday.  More families tend to fly into Denver and drive up.  The ECT folks took a couple of runs at Vail with Commissioner Kathy determined to grow her knowledge base (we did) about our local Public School District – information that (to date) has been withheld from our Community at large.  See below.


Apparently our Public School District – Doesn’t want you to know…or Consider

OBTW – did you know that the Apostle St. Matthew was a – Tax Collector… before you know WHO got a hold of him?

To Date – no one has shared this factual information below with you – not the School District, nor their Superintendent, not the Fishwrap folks.

So Let’s begin.

What you Know:  Eagle County’s Public School District convinced the “majority voter” to vote for (2) Property Tax Increases – Ballot Issues (3A & 3B) last November 2016.  You also know that – that Tax Increase, increased your Property Taxes – our School District Mill Levy increased from (20.311 in 2016) to now (25.209 in January 2017).

What you Don’t Know:  That Property Tax Increase is “not enough” to cover both Ballot Issues (3A & 3B).  Turns out it’s barely enough to cover the annual cost of (3A) the $8Million Annually of increased expenses at our Public School District.  What about the cost of (3B)?  Our School District “bonded” for 3B at the end of January 2017 for an additional ~$144Million Dollars of long term Debt – levied against your Eagle County Residential and Commercial Property.   Frankly, at the time (early January 2017) our EC Treasurer’s Office (while working with our EC Assessors office) was not able to calculate the required additional Mill Levy to cover the annual debt service of (3B).

BOTTOM LINE:   Your Eagle County Public School District Mill Levy is going to increase (again) in January 2018 – and you and the ECT will have absolutely NO SAY in that additional increase you’ll be required to (start) paying in the next 12 months.  Congratulations, EC Majority Voter.  If you’re a Renter – don’t worry – you’ll be hearing from your landlord soon enough.

YOUR COST OF LIVING IS GOING TO RISE:  Looking for more good news?  OK, per Colorado State Statute – this 2017 is a “property re-evaluation year” for the entire State of Colorado.  Most likely (according to the EC Assessors Office) your existing property will be valuated HIGHER, resulting in higher Property Taxes – ACROSS THE BOARD in January 2018.  So, local Renters if you or someone you know voted for (3A & 3B) they just made it much more expensive to BUY a home and more expensive to live in it.  Apparently the economic concept of “cause and effect” is no longer taught in our Public Schools – nor our liberal Universities.  Can you think of another explanation, ECT reader?  Let us know, leave a comment.

The FISHWRAP FOLKS and their ILK (local Realtors) are always happy to point out your homes (alleged appreciation in value) however NEVER want to discuss the CONSEQUENCES of that increased value of your PROPERTY.

JethroIf you or you know someone (who is currently a Renter) here in Eagle County – and Voted for both (3A & 3B) – the ECT offers this short (YouTube) video explaining the concept of “Cause and Effect”, thanks to Elementary School Teacher – Ms. Carrie Carter. 

Next weeks lesson?  You can’t make something more affordable (like housing) – by making it more expensive

Exploring – Avon Elementary

by –  a teaching moment MISSED?

For the Record…the ECT does NOT KNOW how to be an Elementary School Principal. 

The ECT believes that our Avon Elementary Principal – Mr. Roy Getchell (below) may have missed an important teaching moment from a few days ago…

The ECT believes Principal Getchell should have told our Elementary Students to use “Red Tape” (the only Real Product of Government) to explain to our young Students – what our current President is trying to “undo” – due to 8 years of what his predecessor did…Cause and Effect, indeed.  (photo credit Vail Daily)


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