YMCA of the Rockies has donated more than $1 million to entities in Colorado's Grand and Larimer counties after a 15-year-long property tax dispute ended with a court deciding the Y had paid property taxes it did not owe.
The two Colorado counties were required to refund the Y property tax interest after the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed last year that the Y's religious and charitable mission meant it should have received property tax exemptions initially granted to it in 2005, according to a July 1 media release by Larimer County. The nature of this exception was long argued about by Y and county officials, according to a report by USA Today.
The Y then offered a "goodwill" donation of $1,098,948 to both counties—where the Y has multiple facilities—to be distributed proportionately to the affected taxing districts. The sum represents half of each county’s mandatory interest payment to the Y. The rest of the money will go to legal fees incurred by the Y related to this case.
“Grand County is pleased to put this matter behind us and focus our energies on serving our constituents," Grand County Manager Lee Staab said in the release. "We hope to work together with the YMCA of the Rockies to serve our community in the future."
Larimer County Treasurer Irene Josey lauded the professionalism of the Y in the release, noting that several taxing districts in Larimer County will receive budgetary boosts from the donation.
“YMCA of the Rockies is pleased to provide this donation as we continue to focus on our mission of putting Christian principles into practice through programs, staff and facilities in an environment that builds healthy spirit, mind and body for all,” local Y CEO Julie Watkins said in the release. “We look forward to a bright future in both of the counties we are blessed to serve.”
The Y operates a 860-acre center in Estes Park outside Rocky Mountain National Park, and a 2,187-acre center in Winter Park, Colorado.