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Skeptical Of Town Government, Basalt Residents Turn To Think Tank For TABOR 101

Elise Thatcher
Aspen Public Radio

Nearly every year since 2010, Basalt’s town council raised the property tax rate without voter approval. This is, potentially, a violation of Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR).


Some residents aren’t happy about it, and a Denver think tank is in town Tuesday to answer their questions.

The town discovered the mistake in January and alerted residents to the roughly $2 million of ill-gotten tax.

The town is considering asking voters in the fall to keep what it’s collected, but freeze the current tax rate.

This doesn’t sit well with Basalt resident Carol Hawk.

“I think I’d like to see an acknowledgement that things were done improperly,” she said.  

Hawk invited an expert from Denver’s “relatively conservative” Independence Institute to explain TABOR. The point of the session is to educate residents before they decide to let the town keep the money.

“So that it’s not just the government telling us what the solution is, but [us] understanding it enough to be comfortable with whatever that solution becomes,” she said.

The session starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Basalt Library.


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