by Larry Hotz, All Denver Real Estate
Effective July 1, the local portion of sales tax in Lone Tree, Colorado increased from 1.5% to 1.8%. This increase was authorized in a May 6 election to provide funding for new recreational and cultural amenities.
Home to the already financially lucrative Park Meadows Shopping Mall as well as the big box stores that surround it, Lone Tree already has a substantial sales tax base. But residential voters populating the affluent neighborhoods surrounding Park Meadows voted to increase the sales tax so that the community can enjoy even more recreational and cultural facilities. In the long run, this could increase the desirability of these luxury home neighborhoods even more.
Lone Tree already provides a full service, indoor recreation Center as well as numerous parks and playfields throughout its communities. There’s a well-stocked library. And, even a summer cultural program providing outdoor music venues. But these new funds will provide even more facilities for recreation and the arts.
Gated communities such as Heritage Estates and Heritage Hills provide their own outdoor swimming pools, parks and tennis courts. However, recreation opportunities are not as prevalent as found in neighboring Highlands Ranch. They are the homeowners association provides three full-service, indoor recreation centers as well as numerous parks and an extensive trail system.
Several of my neighbors in Heritage Hills are involved in arts and cultural projects. They enthusiastically supported the increase in the sales tax so that Lonetree can begin to develop its own facilities to enhance the culture in our new city. Lone tree is less than 10 years old as a city. but both residential and commercial building is continuing at an impressive rate.
Grading has been furiously progressing at the new Ridge Gate, town — center project. Ridge gate already has townhomes, single-family homes and soon will have its own shops, office buildings and restaurants. Even the new light-rail line will be extended into Ridge Gate providing direct service to the Denver Tech Center and downtown Denver.
Projects have not been selected yet to receive these funds from the new sales tax. Ridge gate would make a logical choice for an arts center but that has yet to be determined. Given the facilities that already are in place thanks to the South Suburban Recreation District, it is more difficult to predict where new recreation facilities might be installed. Still, the mandate is clear. Lone Tree will receive new cultural and recreation facilities as a result of the increase sales tax.
Shoppers at the Lone Tree Shopping Mall, Park Meadows, will still be paying less overall sales tax than at other nearby malls. the local tax at Cherry Creek shopping mall, for example is already 3.5%.