Funding stream could bring in $880K annually for affordable housing
By Cayla Vidmar
The Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority (GVRHA) requested support of the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council at the June 19 meeting to put a property tax increase on the November ballot. The measure would generate funding for affordable housing projects valley-wide. The Town Council unanimously approved the request.
According to a 2016 Gunnison Valley Housing Needs Assessment, there is a yearly funding need of $1.6 million, based upon a housing shortfall of more than 900 units in the Gunnison Valley. This housing need is generally considered one of the top issues facing the community over the next five years. The report cites that the lack of housing has affected the workforce, from entry-level positions to top managers at some of the largest organizations in the valley. This has “created a stifling effect on our economic growth potential,” according to the report.
GVRHA executive director Jennifer Kermode addressed the Town Council, saying the funds generated by the proposed 1.5 mill increase to property tax would be used to “leverage with other funding sources to create public/private partnerships for putting homes on the ground and developing other services and programs to keep affordable neighborhoods in the valley.”
Kermode explained the measure, saying it would “increase property taxes at a 1.5 mill increase level for 10 years, and no more than 0.5 mills in perpetuity after that.” Kermode explained that the increase should generate $880,000 annually.
Mayor Todd Barnes asked Kermode to detail what this tax increase would look like for commercial and residential properties per $100,000 of assessed value. Kermode explained for residential properties, taxpayers would see an increase of $10.80 per $100,000 of assessed value annually, and $43.50 for commercial properties per $100,000 of assessed value annually.
Kermode explained via email that there are “several parcels where home-building could get started with a funding stream, such as the property tax.” These parcels are located at the south end of the valley near Gunnison and in the north end in Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte.
The motion was approved to be put on the November ballot unanimously in Mt. Crested Butte, Crested Butte and the county, and approved 4 to 1 in Gunnison.