Ken-Caryl gets its tax increase

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By AJ Vicens

The Ken-Caryl Ranch Metropolitan District was successful in the bid to raise its mill levy May 6, as the proposal was approved with nearly 73 percent of the vote.

The 2.5-mill increase passed with 3,072 votes in favor and 1,142 against, according to the Ken-Caryl website. The vote authorizes the first tax increase since the district was formed in 1988. The 19 percent increase will cost the owner of a house valued at $500,000 an extra $100 a year, as the levy increases to 15.209 mills from the current 12.709.

Voters also approved a measure that exempts the district from the spending limitations of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights and the 5.5 percent state annual property tax revenue limit, by 63 to 37 percent.

"The passage of A and B is an investment in the community," the district said in a statement released early May 7.

"The positive vote will permit KCRMD to make badly needed capital improvements to facilities, rebuild its reserves, and fund ongoing operations. The Board of Directors will continue to keep the residents informed as to how the additional revenue will be allocated." The board thanked the Committee to Invest in Ken-Caryl and congratulated the new board members.

Kathy Tourney, an outspoken critic of the tax increase and a candidate for the board of directors, declined to comment May 6. She came in fifth in voting for a board seat, with 1,056 votes.

The district's victory means it will receive a $112,000 "gift" from the Ken-Caryl Master Association, which will keep the Bradford Pool open and forestall user fees at district pools, according to Darrell Winds, district manager for the Ken-Caryl Ranch Metro District.

Winds added that the new funds will allow the district to start planning on capital projects that "have been deferred for some time, and rebuild the fund balance, which is currently in the negative."

Ken-Caryl had decided to give the tax-hike proposal another try after 54 percent of voters rejected it in November 2007.

Voters elected Scott Milne, Greg Milano and Stuart Macdonald to serve four-year terms on the board.

The Ken-Caryl Ranch Metro District has 4,000 households and supports 20 full-time employees. Part-time employment expands from 60 to about 150 in the summer.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.