As a native Coloradan who has purchased and lived in homes in several metro districts, I support and encourage the approval of special districts by the Longmont City Council. Well-maintained neighborhood parks, pools and trails are just a few of the benefits homeowners enjoy thanks to metro districts.
The counterpoints include the untethered developer-controlled mill levies given the profit motive builders have utilized to ensure funds for maintenance and future developments. The most important requirement is full disclosure to buyers. However, the reality is that even without metro districts, a new buyer will pay the raw land value in property taxes the first year, only to pay the actual assessed value after that first year. Every new buyer needs to understand that fact.
Buyers need to fully understand how mill levies and property taxes work and affect their costs of a home — which is not the fault of the metro district. The state may want to install legislation that caps the number of years that infrastructure costs can be taxed as a mill levy. Council and the Municipal League should encourage that.
However, for quality neighborhoods in Longmont with more parks and pools and walking paths that the city cannot afford to build or maintain — every member of council should vote yes on the metro district issue. It’s clear homeowners want these amenities given the beautiful new, popular and growing communities throughout the state that utilize the district mill levy for development.
Council members are leaders with a vision and should not fear tools that will enhance quality growth. Otherwise, the growth may be mediocre in quality and options for our community.
We need to attract more young families to Longmont who search for homes in these types of neighborhoods, many literally surrounding Longmont. At present — speaking as a senior who is retired — we are beginning to look like an active over-50 retirement town!