A scary proposition | AspenTimes.com

A scary proposition

Dear Editor:

Nobody enjoys paying taxes. But seriously, how is Colorado going to pay for schools, roads, parks, police and other essential public services if we adopt the three short-sighted ballot issues put forward by Douglas Bruce and his anti-tax cronies?

Amendment 60 would amend Colorado’s Constitution to require public school districts to slash their property tax levies in half within 10 years, forcing the state’s general fund to step in to offset an estimated $1.5 billion a year in lost revenue.

This amendment also would repeal all prior votes allowing local governments to retain and spend property taxes above the limits set by the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Moreover, it would require public universities and colleges to pay property taxes and allow out-of-state property owners to vote anywhere they own land, regardless of their actual residence.

Amendment 61 would bar state government from any borrowing. The ability of local governments and school districts to borrow would be severely limited, and loan terms longer than 10 years would be prohibited.

Proposition 101, the last of the Bruce gang’s proposals, would eliminate taxes and fees on vehicle registration and licenses and on an assortment of telecom services, cutting state revenue by almost $750 million a year.

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Tax cuts are certainly appealing during tough economic times, but this goes far beyond the realm of good sense and responsible policy. Under the guise of reining in government, these measures fundamentally disrespect local autonomy by preventing citizens across the state from taxing themselves to support a variety of worthy projects and services.

If passed, they will result in devastating cuts to higher education, highways and prisons. They will cripple both state and local governments’ ability to finance large projects, while saddling state leaders with an impossible tangle of conflicting constitutional requirements.

If you remember just one thing when voting this fall, please remember this: vote NO on 60, 61 and 101.

Russ Arensman

Glenwood Springs

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