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Old 12-05-2018, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,604 posts, read 4,645,500 times
Reputation: 16330

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https://koaa.com/news/2018/12/04/bri...unding-issues/

This is an opportunity to improve landscaping maintenance issues in Briargate.

"COLORADO SPRINGS – Grassy medians and tree-lined streets are a feature of living in Briargate. All of the greenery growing in the parkways throughout this neighborhood amounts to about 80 acres of irrigated turf.

Money to pay for the maintenance of all that landscaping comes from an additional property taxes paid by some residents. Briargate is one of seven neighborhoods in the City to be a part of what’s considered a Special Improvement Maintenance District or SIMD. A typical homeowner with a house valued at $325,000 would pay an additional $103 a year in property taxes to the Briargate SIMD.

While the district collected around $930,000 this year through the mill levy, the money isn’t stretching as far as it used to. Eric Becker, the Special Improvement Maintenance District Administrator for the City of Colorado Springs said water bills alone have doubled in the last decade.

“That’s about 30 percent of our operating budget to be able to irrigate the turf areas in these special districts,” Becker said.

Adding to the financial problems, not everyone living in Briargate actually pays the extra property tax."


"Roughly 2,250 of the 10,000 homes in the Briargate SIMD pay no additional property taxes. Those homes are concentrated in specific developments across the district."

“Some of the smaller neighborhoods or the developments were inadvertently excluded,” Geislinger said.

He explained that those exclusions occurred decades ago as the neighborhood was being built. City Council cannot simply pass an ordinance to begin taxing the omitted neighborhoods because the Tax Payers Bill of Rights (TABOR) Amendment requires voter approval on any new taxes.

Geislinger and the Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO) are putting together a town hall meeting to explain the history of the SIMD and to try and motivate Briargate residents to take action to protect their property values.

“These are really education information sessions to notify the public on what this maintenance district is and why it needs to adjust a little bit,” explained Sara Vaas, the Chief Operating Officer of CONO.

The town hall meeting will be held Thursday, December 6 from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the Explorer Elementary School gymnasium, 4190 Bardot Drive.


The map shown in the link identifies the untaxed parcels. It seems to me that the city was negligent in letting that happen. I'm surprised that Tabor requires a vote to fix an error.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
2,883 posts, read 1,882,961 times
Reputation: 3202
Grassy medians and tree lined canopies are a feature of living in ONEN. That has never been a key aspect about living in Briargate, at least in my mind. Master planned communities behind developer entry ways and extensive fenced or walled sidewalks is, IMO, a primary feature of Briargate. Many of these do have grassy parking and trees both around and inside their areas.

The oldest parts of Briargate were planned in the 1970s. The majority of the area was laid out and planned through the late 80s into now, the most of which have these large grass medians. IMO, they never should have pursued nor approved city irrigated medians in the neighborhoods as it was well known that we were becoming increasingly water scarce. While there are some very upscale areas in Pine Creek and Cordera, the bulk of the housing in the Briargate area is solidly middle class. As history has proven with the Wasson, Rustic Hills, and Village Seven areas, middle income neighborhoods in Cos eventually age to a point where neglect will impact them. Budget shortfalls to maintaining this, along with a growing discontent among home owners to fund such and resulting fight they will encounter between those that do and don't pay are the first steps to overturning support for this and allowing it to fall into disrepair. Those of you that live there, I wish you the best in your upcoming decisions on how to proceed and the fights that will surround those proposals and resulting decisions.

Tabor is a multi headed hydra in how it impacts life in CO. It does prevent wholesale tax increases without majority approval, but it also creates a myriad of costs to make sometimes simple changes that could otherwise be easily accomplished. Lets not even get into the bigger pictures of revenue limits it requires.

That the city let this happen does not surprise me. Planning, approving, and developing a city is a complex task that takes place over decades. Economic and political climates change over the course of time it takes for that development to occur. Sometimes things get over looked, sometimes things get rubber stamped without scrutiny. Other times things are reviewed with a fine tooth comb. The 21st century has revealed a host of growing pains the Pikes Peak region has inflicted on its self as it sought to be a refined large town and instead turned into a growing major metro area.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:32 AM
 
475 posts, read 225,687 times
Reputation: 715
As a long-time (25+ years) Briargate resident with 2 houses I will vote NO on any requests for more taxes for "landscaping".

All of these areas should have been native from the get-go- water is not getting any cheaper and my utility bills are not either.

"Protecting Property Values" is a desperate reason- similar to the school taxes we pay more of.

Seems like the people who do not get taxed now and live next to those areas will definitely volunteer to pay more tax right? Or are the existing taxpayers going to be asked to pay "just a little bit more" so everyone benefits?

Seems like these "very small" increases start to add up over time- similar to utility bills now.

Last edited by LHS79; 12-05-2018 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
159 posts, read 220,522 times
Reputation: 279
Here's a direct link to the Briargate taxing district map. The area shown in green is what the money is used to maintain. Looks like a lot of these green areas are along community trails and open space. On the other hand, a close look shows that quite a bit of the irrigated areas are along roads that pass through yellow non-taxed neighborhoods.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ySK...Ea09XJ27O/view




Last edited by YoYoSpin; 12-05-2018 at 11:35 AM..
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:03 PM
 
475 posts, read 225,687 times
Reputation: 715
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoYoSpin View Post
Here's a direct link to the Briargate taxing district map. The area shown in green is what the money is used to maintain. Looks like a lot of these green areas are along community trails and open space. On the other hand, a close look shows that quite a bit of the irrigated areas are along roads that pass through yellow non-taxed neighborhoods.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ySK...Ea09XJ27O/view


Yep- saw that too. Surely "those people" will like to chip in /sarc
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
2,883 posts, read 1,882,961 times
Reputation: 3202
Hmmm, dejavu; Ratty looking landscaping on medians
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