As this newsletter is being printed, parties on both sides of the dispute regarding the Grand Valley Drainage District levying of a fee on all residents and businesses within its boundaries are preparing for trial.
Judge Timbreza on May 17th, executed a court order denying the GVDD request and the Chamber/Mesa County response and request for summary judgement. Beginning at 11:00 AM on June 5th both sides will argue in court as to whether this is a fee as the District contends or actually an unauthorized tax as the Chamber and Mesa County argue. The case is currently calendared for four days.
Last year the Chamber voted to take the unusual action of suing Grand Valley Drainage District along with Mesa County only after eight months of fruitless negotiations to find common ground and a solution that would not unduly harm businesses and our economy. Shown below are the principals that have always guided us on this matter:
- 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 June 2017 Newsletter.