Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pool Parity

It is somewhat unfortunate that the discussion over property tax relief for private pools has reignited the old animosity between Columbia and the rest of the county.

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

As originally presented by Councilpersons Courtney Watson and Greg Fox , the bill would have given six private HoCo swim clubs a free pass on HoCo property taxes. It didn’t take long for the Columbians to cry fowl. CA rightfully argued that they should get the same treatment for the 23 pools they operate.

Of course nothing is ever as simple as it seems. There is some question as to whether a behemoth HOA like CA can receive the same treatment under state law as these non profit neighborhood swim clubs.

On the other hand, CA already benefits from lower than market assessment on their pool properties negotiated years ago. Apparently that rate is also fixed and therefore immune from escalations in value.

That doesn’t seem fair to the non Columbia pools. They are still assessed at a regular property tax rates. Rather than giving them a free pass on all their HoCo loco property taxes the right thing to do here is to afford them the same tax treatment as Columbia pools.

It seems simple enough anyway.
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