The Chamber and Mesa County filed a complaint and a request for an injunction against the Grand Valley Drainage District earlier this year in response to their invoicing members a “fee” that put an inordinate burden on the business community. The basis for the suit is to get clarity as to whether this is a fee or a tax subject to voter approval under TABOR. On July 19th Judge Bottger denied the request for an injunction. Shown below is our official statement on that action:
“The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is disappointed that it was unable to obtain a preliminary injunction that would have immediately halted collection of the Grand Valley Drainage District’s “fees” Such an injunction would have likely allowed businesses and individuals that have not paid their invoices to keep those dollars circulating in our local economy while the matter is further reviewed and a determination is made on the merits of the case.
The lawsuit is still proceeding and the Chamber is committed to moving forward and getting a final ruling about whether the fee is an impermissible tax. This review and final determination is still warranted and necessary to provide clarity to affected residents and businesses.
Ultimately, it is the hope of the Grand Junction Chamber and Mesa County that we can quickly get back to focusing on this valley wide drainage problem and devising a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to addressing the needs to manage storm water in Mesa County without harming our members and the business community at large.
The Chamber’s position on the matter has been clearly articulated to all concerned and remains the same. It is shown below:
- The Chamber supports a valley-wide solution to addressing the area’s drainage problems, which of necessity involves governmental entities in addition to the Grand Valley Drainage District.
- The Chamber supports the development of thoughtful alternatives regarding new fees, taxes, and grants to meet the need.
- The Chamber opposes the imposition of an impact fee for business expansions. The growth of businesses improves the economy, increases job opportunities and adds to the tax base.
- The Chamber supports an extended process of securing more information in a collaborative manner with all entities responsible for drainage and thoroughly exploring all funding models, the implementation of a sunset provision on the funding source, more transparency and accountability in the form of reports issued to taxpayers regarding how project priorities are identified, how funds are being spent, and how funds are leveraged with money from other sources—including grants.”
Click here to download full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce August 2016 Newsletter.