Shelves that were once filled with a variety of vintage toys, and walls previously covered with unique, old-time signs now sit bare inside the The Fort Collins Candy Store EmporiumThis sudden change has caused customers to worry that the store is closing for good, but that's actually not the case.

Rather, a weird state law has resulted in the store's owner, Tony Vallejos, having to remove all of his beloved collectibles, or potentially be subjected to an annual $40,000 taxation.

According to the county assessor, even though the antique collection is personal property, the store is technically required to have a museum title/classification in order to feature them on display.

The $40,000 comes from 10% of the total value of his collection, which is insured for $400,000.

In Colorado, the state does not allow private individuals to have museums.

Courtesy of The Fort Collins Candy Store Emporium

Tony had originally opened his candy store in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 2016. While there, he did obtain the museum title/classification after the county assessor brought it to his attention that he was at risk of a potential taxation on the collectibles in the store.

The commissioners advised him to get a museum title in order to get an exemption.

When he made plans to move the shop to Old Town, he said he was promised by the Secretary of State that the title would transfer with no issue, however he found out later that this was not the case and is now dealing with the same problem all over again.

Courtesy of The Fort Collins Candy Store Emporium

With thousands of dollars put into his collection, the scenario puts Tony in a tough spot. He's tried reaching out to city, state and government officials for help, but has not had much luck thus far.

Although several officials have been receptive and supportive, there's no real answer about what can be done as of right now.

A few options have been thrown on the table, and after talking to the assessor about the potential $40,000 taxation, he thought the Division Property Taxation might be able to issue an exemption.

If Tony were to create a non-profit corporation with a board of directors (to which could not have his name attached) and create a charity, then transfer the collection to the corporation. By doing this, when the business and corporation dissolve, any assets the corporation would have, would be liquidated and all money would go to the charity.

Courtesy of The Fort Collins Candy Store Emporium

The goal right now, is to draw attention to the situation, with hopes that the law could possibly be changed at some point.

Having done his own research, Tony has yet to discover who created this law in Colorado, or what it's purpose still is.

Ultimately, he hopes it could be modified for cases like his.

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