Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado on June 7, 1977 · Page 15
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Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado · Page 15

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Greeley, Colorado
Issue Date:
Tuesday, June 7, 1977
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Page 15
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Tues.,June 7.1977 GREELEY (Colo.) TRIBUNE 15 Property tax relief Undecided ( Dismissal refused in Davenport case ByCARLHILLIARD Associated Pr«s Wrller DENVER (AP) -Two measures that ultimately uill determine the success or failure of the 1977 Colorado General Assembly still have not received final action. Both deal with the session's most pressing problem, property taxes. One, HE 1452, aimed at keeping property tax assessments from soaring --at least for one year--has not'reached the governor's desk for examination and signature. And a House-Senate committee started work today to try to find $8 million in unappropriated or available money in the 1977-1978 fiscal year budget to provide some form of property tax relief for the state's renters. That provision would go into HB 1726, which would give a 10 per cent property tax reduction, amounting to about $24 million, to owner-occupied residences. The measure is expected to be acted on when the legislature comes back for final adjournment June 21. Mountain Bell asks rate hike of $50 million DENVER (AP) - Mountain Bell Telephone Go. has exhausted all possible savings avenues and now needs a $50 million rate increase to insure stork- holders receive a fair return on their investment, the firm's general manager says. . Lloyd I*ger told the Colorado Public Utilities Commission Monday that investors' returns would drop 20 per cent if the increase is not granted. Leger's testimony opened a ·week-long hearing by the PUC on the request. The phone company hopes to show the three-member commission that current rates-of. return are inadequate and should be boosted, from 12.04 . per cent to 14 per cent, Leger said.. If successful, basic monthly residential rates for telephone service could rise from 57.90 to about $9.29, an 18 per cent in- .crease. The rate of return is a financial measure of a company's profitability. Mountain Bell earned a rate of return of 9.59 per cent in 1975 and 10.81 per cent in 1976, Leger said. If the .rate increase is not granted, Leger said, the rate of return will drop to 8.4 per cent this year and 6.S per cent in '1978.:' Before testimony began, Coleman Connolly, a Mountain Bell attorney, asked the commission to allow only an assistant state solicitor general to represent . the commission at the hearings. Two assistant attorneys general had been designated. Military cutback at Springs may cost $25 million _ COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (UPI) -- A Pentagon-ordered cutback of 186 civilian jobs at Ft. Carson and three installations within the Peterson Air Force Base complex will cut about $23 million annually from the area's economy, authorities indicated. Pentagon officials last week said the reductions in civilian personnel are part of a continuing Defense Department program ordered by President Carter earlier this year. A spokesman for Ft. Carson said 131 civilian positions would be eliminated by Sept. 30, but it is hoped "less than 50 people will be terminated." The balance should be taken care of through attrition and transfers to vacant jobs, the spokesman said. Cutting 131 positions from the Ft. Carson civilian payroll of 2,920 employes would mean a payroll reduction of about $1.5 million. The Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs has announced it will cut 55 civilian jobs at Peterson Field,' the Aerospace Defense Command headquarters in the Chidlaw Building and at North American Air Defense Command headquarters inside Cheyenne Mountain. A spokesman said the payroll reduction in the Air Force complex would be about $1 million a year. The assessment bill, HB 1452, was re-adopted by the House, 52-11, shortly before noon Friday, and was to be hurried to the governor's office. "Sometimes it takes as long as 10 days," a staff member said today. "It has to go through all sorts of computerization and checks and other things before it reaches us." The legislature had hoped to get the measure approved and signed before counties sent out this year's properly tax assessments. HB 1452 would: --Require all county assessors to use 1973 tax manuals -currently used in most counties -- until 1981. In 1981 they would begin using 1977 manuals. The manuals would change every four years. --Set a limit on assessment increases for the next two years. It provides that the 1977 valuation for assessment of any piece of property could not be more than 40 per cent higher than the average assessed valuation for the years 1974-1976. For 1978, the valuation could not exceed the previous year by more than 25 per cent. --Prevent the State Board of Equalization from raising the valuation for assessments in 1977 on any. class or subclass of property more than 25 per cent over the previous taxable year. --Create a new classification to cover large tracts of land not subject to lower agricultural assessments. Under that section, the acre on which the residence is located would be assessed at 30 per cent of actual value, the next three acres at 50 per cent of value and the rest of the land-up to 35 acres--at 25 per cent of actual value. --Adds "appraisal value for loan purposes," if practical, as a seventh factor to be used in valuing land. Colorado's property tax administrator, Ray Carper, says -he's received few telephone calls from concerned county assessors about a package of bills allowing them to reduce assessments. CENTRAL CITY, Colo. (UPI) -- A trial judge Monday refused to dismiss murder charges against a 16-year old boy, accused of murdering two university coeds last November and dumping their bodies in a mountain stream. District Judge George Priest rejected the request, made after prosecutors announced they were concluding their case against Craig Alan Davenport of Boulder. The high school student is accused of murdering Leslie Elmer and Laura Almon, 18- year-old roommates · at the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley. They were murdered in a cabin hear Rolllnsville where' they spent a weekend after completing midterm examinations. The request to dismiss the charges came from defense lawyer Steve Ehrhart, who argued prosecutors failed to link the teen-ager to the murders. "The prosecution has proved two girls in fact met their death on that night in question, and a gun and a truck were involved somehow in that," Ehrhart said. "But there is simply no tie whatsoever to bring in Craig Davenport to that murder scene in any way, no tie putting him there." The defense attorney was more successful in efforts to prevent introduction of testimo- ny about bloody bootprints on a carpet from the cabin where the murders occurred. The judge said there ivas no proof that the prints were made by Davenport's boots. Priest also rejected an attempt by prosecuting attorneys to present testimony about an incident involving Davenport about six months before the murders. The incident occurred in Mountain City, Nev., where Davenport was staying with his family. Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerry Jorgenson said Davenport "broke into a young woman's motel room at two or three o'clock in the morning and stole or attempted to steal some money from her purse. The woman was awakened and the defendant was driven from the room by her. "He (Davenport) later admitted to a friend he had done this." Jorgenson said. 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