Monday, July 13, 2015

Road tax lawsuit coming

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 1:58 PM

click to enlarge Will the transportation authority get to collect its tax at the new Walmart? - DANIEL OINES
  • Daniel Oines
  • Will the transportation authority get to collect its tax at the new Walmart?
A lawsuit is brewing between the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority and Walmart over whether the one-percent sales tax imposed by the PPRTA should be collected at the newest Walmart superstore.

The store sits north of Pikes Peak Community College along Academy Boulevard, an area annexed by the city of Fountain in 2013 in what's known as a flagpole annexation. Fountain sits about eight miles south of Colorado Springs but ran its borders up to the property in order to cash in on the store's sales taxes, which the Gazette reported a couple years ago could come to $4.5 million in the first five years. The store is to open this summer.

Now, the PPRTA and Walmart are apparently in a standoff over whether the road tax can be collected, because Fountain isn't part of the PPRTA. El Paso County is, however, included in the PPRTA.

Hence, the PPRTA board will hold a special meeting at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments office, 14 S. Chestnut St.

The only item on the agenda is consideration of a contract for legal services for a sales-tax collection dispute.

A spokesperson for the PPRTA tells us the following via email explaining why the board will be hiring an attorney:
Fountain has annexed land for a shopping center at I-25 and South Academy from unincorporated El Paso County. Based on our legal counsel’s reading of RTA statutes, and after conferring with the Department of Revenue, PPRTA sent notice of our intent to collect the PPRTA sales and use tax in February. As you know, El Paso County is part of the PPRTA, and Fountain is not. Walmart and the developer are questioning whether property annexed from an RTA member government to a non-member government must continue to pay the tax. It looks like the matter is headed to litigation for a decision.  

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