Moffat County College Board prepares to ask voters in November for property tax increase | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County College Board prepares to ask voters in November for property tax increase

The board for Colorado Northwestern Community College has decided to ask voters this November to support the development of on-campus student housing in Craig with an as yet undetermined property-tax increase.

"This is our opportunity to grow and fulfill the potential that was the intent of this property and this building. I think now is the time," said Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District board member Lois Wymore.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, the board hired Denver-based legal firm Butler Snow to prepare the ballot question.

"Butler Snow is a Tabor (Tax Payer Bill of Rights) and state legislature expert in the field," Wymore said.

The board will pay $75 per hour for the firm's legal services, she said.

The college currently raises about $1.2 million in revenue from a levy of three mills first approved by voters in 1999 and extended in 2009 by 68 percent of voters.

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The primary purpose of any mill levy increase would be to build a 100-bed facility with a common area and cafeteria estimated to cost $17 million to $19 million, depending on the final design options selected. The structure would allow for expansion at a later date.

Funds generated from a mill levy increase could also be spent to support: tuition assistance for residents of Moffat County, provide supplemental funding for operating costs of current and future programs, to erect or renovate existing facilities, provide capitol funding for technology enhancement and supplemental equipment, and provide for the operating costs of facilities owned by the board.

"As a result of our current programs and beginning athletics at the Craig campus, we have already demonstrated a clear need for student housing, which we have tried to meet through leasing arrangements with local apartment buildings," said board member Zack Allen.

Demand for student housing is expected to increase as the college continues to develop new programs and recruit outside of the region, but recent economic conditions leave the college few options to generate the funds needed to build.

"We are not able to do this without the support of the community," said board member Jennifer Riley.

The ballot question will specify the amount of the mill levy increase sought and is expected to be presented for approval at the board meeting on Aug. 21 — the first day of classes for CNCC's fall semester.

Craig resident Dave DeRose has been active on the housing committee and was present to speak in support of the college board's intention to ask voters for a mill levy increase,

"You are going to grow an economic driver. The money you get will be put back into the community," he said. "I personally would vote for this far faster than a sales tax increase."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

What will it cost?

Mill levies are the dollar amounts applied to the assessed value of a property to calculate the taxes due for that property. One mill is equal to $1 of property tax for every $1000 in assessed value. In Colorado a tax rate (7.2 percent for residental and 29 percent for all other property) determines the portion of a property’s value that will be assess.

If you own residential property in Craig valued at $200,000 and were to add one mill to the current mill levy it would add $14.40 to your property tax bill. If you owned commercial property in Craig valued at $200,000 and were to add one mill to the current levy it would add $58 to your property tax bill per year.

To calculate property tax:

1. multiply the value of the land owned by the tax rate – 7.2% for residential or 29% for commercial, industrial, agricultural and vacant property – to determined the assessed value.

2. Next multiply the assessed value by the mill levy. For example, the owner of residental property valued at $100,000 subject to 62.161 mills would pay about $447 in property taxes.

In 2016 Moffat County levied between about 56 to just over 89 mills depending on the taxing area.

Tax area maps and levy tables are available from the Moffat County Assessor’s office.