And now, a few facts | AspenTimes.com

And now, a few facts

A fellow elected official stated in a letter to the editor that “Pitkin County voters” were being asked to “allow Pitkin County to raise their taxes without their consent.” Unfortunately, facts do not support the author’s statements.

Fact 1: Both the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (state constitution and Limitations on Tax Levy in the Home Rule Charter) limit property tax increases without voter approval. Essentially, this means voters will always need to give consent for property tax increases. Homework would add to the author’s factual base.

Fact 2: The author states, “Say no to bigger government now and reject the charter change. Again, homework instead of philosophical rhetoric is in order, as the facts would state that last fall (2001), the BOCC cut $700,000 out of the 2002 budget, and $1.2 million this June … and we’re not done yet! Smaller is better.

Fact 3: “Threats of cuts in essential services are unfair and untrue,” says the author. Simple math and logic says that when expenditures exceed revenues in a budget cycle, cuts must be made and efficiencies found. We have done that and will continue to do so. Is it unfair for us to do our job?

I define myself as a fiscal conservative, as one who spends the public’s money wisely. The options for the BOCC are many. What kind of government do you want in Pitkin County? The one I see evolving still cares about people and the environment, yet is much more streamlined than previous models.

Thanks for your consideration.

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Jack Hatfield

Pitkin County commissioner