What is the Boulder County Subdivision Paving LID?
In short, Boulder County wanted to acquire money to repave roads in unincorporated areas. They did this by creating a Boulder County Subdivision Paving LID to assess rural residential property owners a tax, to be used to cover a big part ($56.6M of the total $72M) of the cost of rehabilitating the roads in those subdivisions. How much you were assessed depended on the value of your property. The assessment was due in installments over 15 years if you chose not to pay it off sooner.
Every now and then you may have seen reference to this Boulder County Subdivision Paving LID (local improvement district) assessment and the liens it created, in the MLS. After all, the seller now had a lien on their property and they needed to disclose it, pay it, prorate it at closing or otherwise come to an agreement about the lien/tax burden with the new buyer.
Many of my clients living in affected subdivisions were not have even been aware of it yet. Many more had no idea it was the subject of a court case: Wibby v. Board of County Commissioners
Chuck Wibby, an owner in one of the subdivisions and chairperson of Boulder County FIRM (Fairness in Road Maintenance) sued the County Commissioners last November. FIRM was an organization formed by some of the subdivision homeowners to fight the county’s efforts to assess property owners for the costs of the road rehabilitation work that Boulder County FIRM said was the county’s responsibility. There were 10,900 owners affected by the LID assessment.
Senior District Court Judge J. Robert Lowenbach wrote that the Board of county commissioners “exceeded its jurisdiction and abused its discretion in authorizing and forming the Subdivision Paving LID”. On July 25, 2014 the court ruled the liens were invalid and were to be removed. Any and all money that had already been collected is to be returned to the property owners, with any interest earned.
Barring an appeal, this puts an end to the Boulder County Subdivision Paving LID… However, roads still need to be maintained and the cost has not gone away. We should expect the County Commissioners to meet, discuss and come up with alternatives for raising the money they clearly don’t have, for a project that won’t wait forever.
For more information about whether this affected you click here.
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