Writer Wrong About Library, Chaparral Pines


This is in response to Thomas R. Craig's blatantly ignorant letter to the editor of Aug. 31. In his editorial he claims the town of Payson does not need a new library. Obviously, Mr. Craig has never been in the current library, because if he had, he would understand the need for a new one.

Mr. Craig also claims that Chaparral Pines' contribution to Payson is close to zero. Here are some basic math lessons for Mr. Craig:

Chaparral Pines builds approximately 60 homes per year at an average cost of around $500,000 without land. That amounts to around $30 million in wages and material, most of which stays here in Payson.

Out of that $30 million, around $400,000 goes to the Town of Payson in sales tax revenue. The Town of Payson also gets around $5,000 per residence in permits and fees.

What about property taxes? Assuming the average home is assessed at $500,000, the total property tax revenue for the 100 or so homes complete, and the other 400 lots sold, will be around $1.3 million.

At buildout of the Rim and Chaparral Pines property tax revenue will be around $6.5 million per year. Out of the $1.3 million, the town of Payson gets around $50,000, and $243,000 at buildout. Out of the $1.3 million the Payson Unified School District gets $660,000, and $3.3 million at buildout.

This is a lot of money for the schools, considering there are only six students from Chaparral Pines currently going to school in Payson.

These numbers are impressive considering they are estimated conservatively and don't include ongoing infrastructure improvements, golf course maintenance and the portion of sales and property taxes which come back through the state and Gila County.

Now think about all the hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. which are frequented by current and future Chaparral Pines residents, and you get an entirely different financial picture than Mr. Craig portrays.

There are also numerous residents in Chaparral Pines who volunteer and give money to various organizations around town. We have given rounds of golf to the Kiwanis auction and have purchased tickets for the Hospice ATV raffle.

We are also leading the effort to get a much -needed grass field at Frontier Elementary School.

As far as the high cost of living here in Payson, it has been proven over and over again in other communities that anti-growth efforts like the ones that have been under way for quite some time under the current mayor and people like Mr. Craig leads to high land and building costs.

The town has one major industry, which is construction. I will never understand why the town's government and citizens are trying so hard to hurt the only viable industry in this town. Without tax revenue from construction, this town would be bankrupt.

Kevin Sokol

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