Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
editorial@lhvc.com 

New Year, New Revenue: LID budget increases 5.5% in 2017

 

January 21, 2017



The Advisory Committee to the Niwot Local Improvement District (LID) held its first meeting of 2017 on Tuesday, Jan. 3. District revenues dominated the discussion, as members welcomed representatives from the State of Colorado Department of Revenue to respond to several concerns related to sales tax collection in Niwot. They also reviewed budget projections for 2017, and considered three funding requests for upcoming streetscape expenses.

Co-Chair Laura Skaggs called the meeting to order promptly at 7pm, and the committee quickly approved December’s meeting minutes. LID treasurer Harris Faberman was absent, so county liaison Pete Salas presented the final budget report for 2016, updated to include December’s funding approval. As Salas noted last month, the LID will need about $4,200 from a supplemental allocation to fund all of last year’s approved requests.

Salas also announced the LID’s budget allocation for 2017 is $133,000, an increase of 5.5% from $126,000 in 2016. This is due to growth in the district’s sales tax revenues, spurred by the launch last year of several new local businesses, including 1914 House restaurant.

While revenues are clearly on the rise in the district, two major miscalculations by the State of Colorado in the last 12 months have raised serious questions about how LID sales taxes are collected and allocated. To address these concerns, Eric Myers and LuAnn Pyatt from the state Department of Revenue Taxpayer Service Division fielded several questions from committee members about which businesses are included, who determines their eligibility, and how tax payments are allocated to the district.

Myers said that that the department was currently investigating several issues related to which vendors are included in the LID, and admitted that “an oversight” had probably caused at least some of the confusion. However, citing taxpayer information privacy concerns, Myers and Pyatt were unable to address many of the committee’s questions regarding specific businesses and their participation in the LID. They urged members to contact Mitch Goodwin, the LID sales and use tax accountant with Boulder County, who would be able to provide more detailed responses.

LID member Bruce Warren noted that two Niwot businesses had reported receiving letters from the Department of Revenue telling them that they were not located in the LID boundaries and should not be collecting LID taxes. Warren said that both businesses are clearly part of the LID, which began collecting sales taxes in 1993, and that he had advised both businesses to send in the LID sales taxes anyway. Myers asked for copies of the letters, which Warren produced, and indicated that he would look into the matter.

Warren also noted that a two-year running dispute with the Department of Revenue over whether food for home consumption was exempt from the LID sales tax had finally been resolved, thanks to the efforts of CPA Dayna Roane and the Colorado Society of CPAs. Warren reported that the department had finally acknowledged that food for home consumption was not taxable, reversing the position the department had taken earlier in a letter to Niwot Market.

With that discussion concluded, the group next heard from Chuck Klueber, appearing on behalf of the Niwot Business Association Streetscapes Committee. Klueber requested funding to cover various Niwot operating expenses for 2017, including utility payments for lighting ($1,500), snow removal on 2nd Avenue ($1,500), and annual maintenance for the blue spruce tree in the Sculpture Park, and the pear trees on 2nd Ave ($1,872). The requests were approved unanimously,

Following a brief discussion of Old Business, the meeting was adjourned. The LID will meet next on Feb. 7.

 

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