The Chamber Is There for YOUR Business
Many members are already very aware that District Court Judge Lance Timbreza handed down a decision in the Grand Valley Drainage District lawsuit brought by Mesa County and the Chamber in early June. The decision, which found that the Drainage District’s stormwater fee is in fact an impermissible tax under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, was a victory for the business community and for transparent and accountable taxation.
Although not all of our members are located inside the GVDD boundaries, many members do operate within the boundaries and all received annual bills ranging from a few hundred dollars to over ten thousand dollars. We are proud of the Chamber’s role in protecting the local business climate and continuing to be the voice of business. The Grand Junction Area Chamber exists and is able to provide this important support as a direct result of your membership investment and the time and talents of so many of the representatives and owners of our member businesses. As you continue your vital work in our community please make it a point to reinforce the importance of Chamber membership to other businesses who may have benefited from our actions but are not yet members.
It is also important to acknowledge the many contributions made by individuals and organizations in this specific effort. First of all, the Chamber board members in 2015-2016 need to be recognized for taking the Chamber mission of “representing business and promoting economic growth” seriously and going out on a limb to do the right thing for members.
Additionally, Mesa County was a key ally which joined the Chamber in challenging the fee and in representing the citizens of the County. Also helping lead the effort from the beginning were EmTech, Conquest Development, Innovative Textiles, Knowles Trucking and Western Hospitality which joined us in the filing to demonstrate much needed business support for this action.
The team effort also included many chamber member donations which assisted the Chamber with legal fees, as well as both members and residents in the community who continued to voice their support for this action.
Last but not least, the Chamber thanks the capable legal team from Wegener, Scarborough, Younge & Hockensmith, LLP—Ben Wegener and Jason McCullough in particular. They did a tremendous job representing the business community and the County before, during, and after trial.
This part of the lawsuit may be over, but the need to address drainage issues on a valley-wide basis in a collaborative way with all of the entities in the 5-2-1 Drainage Authority continues. The Chamber agrees wholeheartedly that a solution is necessary and remains committed to a workable solution for this critical problem.