Taxed to death

By Tammy Murray

Dear Editor:

I know I am not alone in my shock and disgust when I received my property tax bills this year.

There is very little incentive to buy dilapidated properties/businesses and fix them up when the county immediately reassesses their value to an inflated amount and increases property taxes drastically. My property taxes increased from last year to this year over $3,000 when there is absolutely no economic growth or population growth to substantiate this. Delta County has had a net decrease in population and property taxes should not increase with that being the case.

Increasing property taxes only makes those of us who invested here wish that we hadn't and this bleeding of business and property owners will not stand.

If someone wishes to buy property in Delta County and improve it, there should be a property tax freeze for at least five years. The property owner should enjoy some equity before the county re-assesses at their inflated rates of property appreciation.

The values are evidently based on a state database appraisal system that does not consider the economically repressed Western Slope. Why should investors buy properties free and clear of bank loans when the county makes you pay an incredible amount for property taxes? This means that instead of renting from a private party or bank, the property now has to pay this heavy property tax every month instead.

The Chicken Roost Restaurant now has to pay $275 per month for property taxes when the city hired a building inspector that cost me more than $200,000 more than the original bid amount to improve this property that already existed as a restaurant. Never has this business had to pay more and it barely breaks even. Now the county put this business in the red with its heavy-handed taxes.

The property owner does not enjoy immediate increase in value once improvements are made. Value is based on what someone will pay for the property and none of the properties will appreciate here because the city and county have created obstacles to economic growth including this scheme to bleed money from investors and business owners.

Values should be based on economic growth, not need for money. It is these county/city administrators who have chased businesses away and now they want to bleed the remaining businesses and property owners for their budget shortfalls. This will not stand.

Tammy Murray
Owner, Chicken Roost, Delta