VAIL — When the Vail Local Housing Authority late last year approved its 2019 budget, the volunteer group added a couple of items.
In the $43,200 budget — a $12,200 increase from 2018 — there are items for professional development and administrative expenses.
But there’s also a $10,000 item to research a possible ballot question for a tax increase in town.
Town officials have long discussed the need for a consistent source of funding for the town’s housing program, particularly the Vail InDeed program. That program buys deed restrictions on units in town in an effort to keep for-sale units affordable and rental units out of the short-term rental pool.
Creating the program — and buying $4.2 million in deed restrictions at the under-construction Solar Vail apartments — quickly drained the town’s housing fund. That fund had built up over a number of years.
The Vail Town Council in December agreed to put $2.5 million into the housing fund for 2019, with council members saying at the time that the town’s general fund can’t continue the practice.
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If anything comes of the research, town voters could see a proposal as soon as this year. But the research into a proposal is about the extent of town spending.
Council member Greg Moffet reminded housing authority board members that if a ballot measure is sent to voters this fall, no town money can be used to support the idea.