Local Politics

Aurora won’t intervene in double tax for some southeast residents

AURORA | Some residents in southeast Aurora will continue to be double taxed for library services by the City of Aurora and the Arapahoe Library District without city lawmakers intervening, Aurora City Council members decided at a council meeting Aug. 13.

At a study session meeting, council members agreed not to follow through with any effort to lobby for a state bill that would allow Aurora homeowners who are currently being doubled taxed to petition to exclude themselves from Arapahoe Library District’s tax assessments.

The Arapahoe Library District has a current mill of 4.982 mills, which has resulted in the District collecting about $912,000 in 2011 from the areas of the District that also overlap some southeast parts Aurora, according to city documents.

Councilman Bob LeGare said he isn’t going to support exploring potential solutions to the problem of people being double taxed.

“It feels punitive to me to go in and try to change this state law based on what’s happened,” LeGare said.

Councilman Bob Broom said he’s only received two inquires from people who are wondering why they are paying taxes for Aurora and the District for library services.

No council members showed support at the study session meeting for intervening in the matter.

It’s not uncommon for some residents in cities to be taxed by a library district and the city for library services.

Roberto Venegas, intergovernmental relations coordinator for Aurora, said about 2,380 people pay taxes to both Littleton and the Jefferson County Public Libraries.

About 42,480 people pay taxes to both Westminster and the Jefferson County Public Libraries.

Venegas said he didn’t know how many people in Aurora are paying two taxes for the same services, but he would find out if city council members were interested in pursuing the matter further, which they said they weren’t.

Also at the meeting, Aurora City Council members approved residential design standards that would decrease the amount of brick required to build a home. They approved it on a vote of 7 to 2 with council members Molly Markert and Renie Peterson voting no.

The new ordinance decreases the amount of brick required to build a home from 30 percent to 15 percent. In return, home builders would have to meet energy efficiency, architectural and durability requirements. In order to make sure that home builders are following those rules, the city would institute a point system where home builders would have to meet a minimum number of construction points before they can construct a house.

When the issue came before council members at a study session meeting, it generated some controversy. The ordinance was initially spurred by requests by the Home Builder’s Association, which said studies show buyers prefer nicer appliances, more energy-efficient homes and landscaped backyards over masonry facades. But members of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission were opposed to the brick changes, saying they were worried that the 15 percent masonry standard would “reduce residential quality.” The Colorado Brick Council was also opposed to the ordinance.

Reach reporter Sara Castellanos at 720-449-9036 or sara@aurorasentinel.com.

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  • Cammy

    People who live within the Arapahoe Library District dont know how lucky they are.  And, . .  they chose to live where they do and if they say “we didnt know we were in two library districts” ..   ignorance of the law is not an excuse.  No one likes to be double-taxed. .  i’ll take the Arapahoe Library District any day.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jm-Fay/100000512715045 Jm Fay

      Aurora spends so little on their own libraries per capita that this “double taxation” doesnt amount to alot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jm-Fay/100000512715045 Jm Fay

    I already told this reporter that this story is very misleading. The fact is there is an IGA in place between ALD and Aurora over this money and ALD gives Aurora $500000 last year and $600000 this year just to help pay the expenses of the Tallyn’s Reach library. This money can only go to the library too and this IGA has been in place for a few years.
    For the city council to deliberately mislead this reporter is not helpful in getting all the facts told.
    There are plenty of other pockets of ALD that there is no IGA in place for that are around other cities libraries. I am not aware that there ever was any IGA’s in place for the residents in these areas yet there is one for Aurora. This is supposed to help the ALD residents by Tallyn’s Reach that are not Aurora but I do not believe there is that many to take advantage unlike the 15 to 20 thousand Aurora who pay the ALD mill. This seems to be yet another deal that favours Aurora over ALD residents; just like the ALD- Aurora full use card.
    That card allows unlimited checkouts if you pay $100 per year pro rated but its waived if you are over 65. This never applied to the computers, the meeting rooms, etc so if you came in to use them; they are still free. The average tax bill per taxable property per the assessor in 2011 for ALD was $251.09 so if you are an ALD resident; you would be boiling mad over this deal. (Fees on your car registration also go back in part to ALD so the total amount paid to ALD is more then that.)
    The reality is Aurora gets very favourable treatment by ALD using resources that ALD should be using for their own residents. The residents by the 2 closest ALD to Aurora libraries Smokey and the 4 s m (aka May) get far less use of their library especially the latter due to having to help out Aurora residents. ALD intends to treat their own residents as permanently second class citizens especially when their own stats state that the latter gets 25 % or less use of their own library which they waited 28 years to get and for which they pay 100 % of the bills. This is going on since the library opened on 21 Feb 2009.
    The Aurora Sentinel should check their facts before they print a story.
    JM Fay
    Candidate for State Rep in HD 41