08/12/2011: "Land Bank On November Ballot"
The Land Bank renewal petition for has been certified by County Auditor Milene Henley for inclusion on the November general election ballot. The "San Juan County Land Bank Tax" (also known as Real Estate Excise Tax or REET) is a tax authorized by the voters of San Juan County. The Land Bank has a sunset clause of 12yrs, after which the question of should it continue is put to the voter.
If the vote is "No" the Land Bank will go out of existence; however it could be reinstated in a modified form by being put back on a ballot if there was a sufficient will to do so.
As it now stands, the 1% tax of the sale price (paid by the purchaser) is levied on each sale of real property in the county for a 12-year period.
The Land Bank was created in 1990 when the voters approved the proposal. It was then renewed for an additional 12 years by a nearly 73% majority in 1999, and will continue until December 5, 2014. The upcoming vote will determine if it can continue for an additional 12 years.
County voters will have an opportunity in November to vote “yes” or “no” on a proposal to renew for another 12 years.
"The purpose of the San Juan County Land Bank is to preserve in perpetuity, areas in the County that have environmental, agricultural, aesthetic, cultural, scientific, historic, scenic, or low-intensity recreational value, and to protect existing and future sources of potable water."
a group of local citizens calling themselves “Renew Our Land Bank” circulated a petition to place the renewal of the Land Bank real estate excise tax on the ballot.
Of the 2,670 signatures submitted, 1,160 were checked by the County Elections Office. Of those, 1,005 were valid signatures. The Elections Office stopped checking at that point, as only 938 signatures- 10% of the voters who voted in the last general election -were required.
The Land Bank budget for 2011 was $3,905,443.00' however, due to lack of real estate sales, the budget was reduced to $3,602,205.00, unless sales pick up, the total next year -if the voters approve the renewal of the LB- may be less.