Grand Lake Board of Trustees discusses tax policies, annexes land and more

The sun shines on Grand Lake Town Hall in this 2020 picture. The town's board of trustees meets every second and fourth Monday of the month.
Robert Mendoza/Sky-Hi News archive

Taxes were the focus of Grand Lake’s Board of Trustees first meeting of the month on June 13 in the Town Hall boardroom.

The first tax the trustees discussed came up during the public comment, when Katie Beeson, owner of Mountain Market, spoke. Beeson asked the board to consider getting rid of the town’s sales tax on groceries, saying the state and most other municipalities do not have such a tax. 

Beeson said the tax drove customers away from her business because they can go to grocers in other towns and pay less for the same products. 

An item on the agenda called for discussion about the town’s building use tax, which applies to building and construction materials purchased outside the town. It acts as a way for Grand Lake to collect something similar to a sales tax on purchases outside its borders. 

The town collects the tax as a term of issuing building permits, so the builder pays the tax before buying their materials. Grand Lake gives builders two options to avoid paying use tax and sales tax. They can present their building permit to the seller to avoid the sales tax. If the seller charges them sales tax, builders can provide receipts to Grand Lake to have the town reimburse the cost. 

Town treasurer Heike Wilson suggested removing the second option, putting the responsibility on builders and contractors to avoid being double taxed. Developer Jim Kreutzer spoke during the board’s discussion and strongly opposed the change. He told trustees about difficulties he has with the current use tax system and said the change would be unfair to builders. Trustees seemed to agree that the town needs to find a different solution.

Trustees approved a resolution and two ordinances that annexed land into the town and zoned it as an Open District. The Matthews Annexation had two parts because of laws requiring annexed land to share certain percentages of its border with the existing town. The first parcel met the requirement, and the second met it once the first had been annexed.

Before the ordinances could annex the land at 195 Grand County Road 48, the trustees had to approve a resolution to update the town’s Three Mile Plan. The update included no changes to the plan.

Other business:

  • The board appointed Greg Finch, a former chief operating officer of Granby Ranch, to a position on the town planning commission.
  • Two summer events at Lakefront Park, the Troublesome Fest on Sept. 10 and a Live Water event July 16, received approval for special event liquor permits.
  • Trustees voted to have the mayor sign a letter of recognition to Westgate Community School for helping clean up Gateway Garden.
  • Workshops started at 4:30 p.m. and featured a report from the Grand County Library District and a town hall on short term rentals. 
  • The board approved the accounts payable.
  • Town manager John Crone gave updates of topics including recent flooding, the marina’s full-time opening and a building in town that the owners painted an unapproved green color.

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