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Ken-Caryl Ranch residents to face ballot question

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By Deborah Swearingen

Ken-Caryl Ranch Metropolitan District is asking its residents for an 8-mill property tax increase in large part to offset the impacts of the Gallagher Amendment.

The Metropolitan District, which oversees recreational programming, parks and playgrounds for residents of Ken-Caryl Ranch, is primarily funded through property taxes and registration fees. Property taxes make up 60 percent of the district’s revenue.

The Gallagher Amendment limits the growth of residential property taxes by requiring a balance in the amount of money coming from commercial and residential property taxes. If the residential assessment rate drops from 7.2 to 6.1 percent in 2019 as it is predicted to do, Ken-Caryl Ranch expects to lose $375,000 in property tax revenue.

Largely, the district is seeking the property tax increase, also known as ballot issue 6G, “in order to maintain service levels for the community, create financial sustainability and offset the impacts of the Gallagher Amendment on our tax revenue,” said Melissa Daruna, district manager for Ken-Caryl Ranch Metropolitan District.

An 8-mill increase would result in additional $4.75 a month per $100,000 of a home’s property value. A residence valued at $400,000, for example, would pay an additional $19 a month.

If a mill levy increase fails, the district expects it will be required to cut services and increase fees for programming. Among other things, the district’s public mill levy informational page says it would consider eliminating free community events, reducing parks maintenance such as watering, mowing, landscaping, and tree care, eliminating capital expenses such as additional shade at the pools, playground replacements and paved trail repairs, charging for resident pool access, reducing pool hours and closing the Bradford pool.

Ken-Caryl Ranch Metropolitan District joins a variety of other area governmental bodies, including Jeffco Public Schools and West Metro Fire Rescue, in placing questions regarding property taxes on the November ballot.

If approved, the Ken-Caryl Ranch mill levy increase applies solely to those living within the neighborhood — both on lands east of C-470 in the Plains residential neighborhoods and the business center and those living in lands west of C-470 or the Valley, South Valley and North Ranch.

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter @djswearingen.