So many letters to the editor seem to point toward closing Desert Hawk Golf Course as it is such a drain on the county and Pueblo West Metropolitan District. Most of this misinformation comes from all the numbers that appears in The View (“Shifty, spendthrift politicians,” The Pueblo West View, Sept. 12, 2013).
True, there is a bond issue that needs to be repaid, both principal and interest.
This will go on whether the golf course is there or not. So, let’s take a look at what the actual operation of the golf course does to drain finances:
Net Revenues: $799,969
Expenses: $968,827 (which figure includes non cash depreciation $151,088)
Net Profit: -$168,858
Add back depr.: $151,088
Negative Impact: -$17,770
As the writer pointed out a couple of years ago when I made this same argument “You missed the amortization.”
So all of this discussion is over $17,770, keeping in mind that there is nothing that the Metro District or the County can do about the bond except repay both principal and interest.
A couple of weeks ago, a Pueblo West resident made the statement that the golf course is advantageous to property owners in the golf course area as it increases their property values.
That is fair statement.
Then he said that the property owners in the golf course area pay the same mill levy as everyone else.
That is a true statement, also.
But, the mill levy against a higher value property produces more tax dollars.
The property owners are paying more tax dollars than they would if the value of the property were less.
Now, at my last count, there were more than 500 homes on the golf course itself.
If the golf course goes away, property values around the golf course will drop.
Homes in the golf course area would drop approximately 10 percent.
One could extrapolate (as those letters often refer to numbers) and see how much of a reduction we would see in real estate tax revenues.
I’m sure they would far exceed $17,770.
One final note: There is a lot of talk about the golf course getting a preferential water rate.
The rate is lower but how much should the metro district charge for untreated water, water that doesn’t cost the district anything as it hasn’t gone through the treatment system and does not go back through the sewer system.
The Pueblo West Swimming pool costs more out of pocket funds to operate than the golf course, and they’re only open three months out of the year.
Let’s enjoy our community and all it has to offer rather than fight over a few dollars.
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