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A “Yes” Vote For Special Election

Dear Editor:
The October coffee with the Mayor rated two front page stories in the Trail-Gazette on Oct. 9th. It was interesting reading for those unable to attend. Unfortunately, a citizen made a gross misstatement which no Town officials made any effort to clarify or correct. Pat Newsom said that “EPURA gets no money from property taxes,” which is misleading.
Now for the facts. EPURA does get money from property taxes, which is its primary source of funds. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) depends entirely on diverting a portion of property taxes based on the growth in appraised values within the “blighted area” to EPURA. That property tax increment would otherwise go to the School District, Hospital, Library and Recreation Districts and if it is created in the November election, the Fire District.
EPURA is not a very independent authority, since by intergovernmental agreement
adopted earlier this year, any expenditure over $100,000.00 must be approved by the Town Board of Trustees. EPURA also used to receive a sales tax increment from the Town’s own revenue source, but not anymore. The Town isn’t willing to commit its own sales tax increment to EPURA, only the property taxes from our other taxing districts. If the Town really believed that all the tax increment was created by EPURA, it would have gladly given EPURA a sales tax increment again. Instead, over its first 25 years, the Town took back $32 million from EPURA that could have been spent on supposedly income-generating projects.
When it comes to understanding the real effects of tax increment financing, look at what the Town is doing–not what it says. The Town wants to ignore the costs EPURA imposes on our other Taxing Districts. Vote Yes in the Special Election.
Ralph Nicholas

Dear Editor:

The October coffee with the Mayor rated two front page stories in the Trail-Gazette on Oct. 9th. It was interesting reading for those unable to attend. Unfortunately, a citizen made a gross misstatement which no Town officials made any effort to clarify or correct. Pat Newsom said that “EPURA gets no money from property taxes,” which is misleading.

Now for the facts. EPURA does get money from property taxes, which is its primary source of funds. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) depends entirely on diverting a portion of property taxes based on the growth in appraised values within the “blighted area” to EPURA. That property tax increment would otherwise go to the School District, Hospital, Library and Recreation Districts and if it is created in the November election, the Fire District.

EPURA is not a very independent authority, since by intergovernmental agreement

adopted earlier this year, any expenditure over $100,000.00 must be approved by the Town Board of Trustees. EPURA also used to receive a sales tax increment from the Town’s own revenue source, but not anymore. The Town isn’t willing to commit its own sales tax increment to EPURA, only the property taxes from our other taxing districts. If the Town really believed that all the tax increment was created by EPURA, it would have gladly given EPURA a sales tax increment again. Instead, over its first 25 years, the Town took back $32 million from EPURA that could have been spent on supposedly income-generating projects.

When it comes to understanding the real effects of tax increment financing, look at what the Town is doing–not what it says. The Town wants to ignore the costs EPURA imposes on our other Taxing Districts. Vote Yes in the Special Election.

Ralph Nicholas

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