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Montezuma County Commissioners Reluctant to Ask For Sales Tax

Fatty Tuna
Creative Commons
  • Commissioners hesitant to place tax burden on local workers
  • Want to allocate potential tax revenue for specific purpose

The Montezuma County commissioners were less than enthusiastic Monday about the idea of asking voters for a county sales tax to help offset revenue losses from falling carbon-dioxide production. In a discussion on economic development, three members of the Planning and Zoning Commission told commissioners James Lambert and Larry Don Suckla that a sales tax of 1 percent or more could prevent a reduction in services. The county’s biggest taxpayer, Kinder Morgan, is reportedly expecting a drop in production of 22 to 30 percent, and P&Z’s Bob Clayton said the company is looking at layoffs. Suckla said it’s difficult for him to ask voters for a new tax when he sees local businesses suffering. P&Z’s Kelly Belt and Raymond Boyd said a sales tax would bring in outside money from tourists and ease the burden on local property owners. Suckla said he agrees a sales tax is the fairest type, but he would prefer that any tax be allocated to a specific purpose such as broadband rather than just providing county services. July 29th is the deadline to notify the county clerk’s office of a question to be put on the ballot. Lambert said he wants to wait before making up his mind about the tax, and both commissioners said they would like to hear from Keenan Ertel, who was not present.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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