A very good deal
October 29, 2002
On Nov. 5 Pitkin County voters will decide on ballot Question 1A, the Health and Human Services Mill Levy, which will provide stable funding for local human service agencies and nonprofits. I urge everyone to vote yes on this important initiative.
I don’t think anyone would argue the fact that these worthy agencies contribute enormously to the wonderful quality of life we have in our county. What some may not understand is how important stable and dedicated government funding is for these agencies.
What these funds do is allow an agency to then better compete for private grants. Private grantors want to see that local citizens, businesses and governments support a local agency. Grantors expect to see broad-based local support before they dedicate their funds to an agency or program.
Keep in mind that every dollar Pitkin County spends to fund a nonprofit will leverage many more dollars from other sources. Dedicated funds also give agencies the ability to better manage the future of their programs.
Voters need to realize that if Pitkin County tried to replace these services we would have to pay a great deal more in taxes than this proposal requires. As stated in Question 1A, Pitkin County residents will only pay $4.20 annually per $100,000 in residential property. Business owners will pay only $12.60 per $100,000 in business value.
For Pitkin County to replace even some of these agencies would require us to pay many times these amounts in increased taxes. What we have before us, in my mind, is a very good deal.
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I also believe that our community is only as good as our ability to take care of those least among us. Although the agencies and nonprofits affected serve a variety of needs, many of them serve those who are most vulnerable in our community. We need to band together to ensure this population continues to be cared for with dignity and respect.
I urge you to vote yes on 1A.
Catholic Charities advisory board member