Article was misleading | AspenTimes.com

Article was misleading

Dear Editor:

Friday’s article, “What to cut? City says it’s too early to tell,” mischaracterized my statements.

Obviously, Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 affect government revenues. We would not otherwise be promoting them. They slow the rate of increase in future revenue. The savings are phased in over four to 12 years or more. For example, a 0.1 percent reduction in the state income tax rate occurs only after state income tax revenue in that tax year grows over 6 percent. The state still gets an increase, but a slightly adjusted one. We save just over 2 percent on that year’s income tax payment.

Total state spending is almost $20 billion yearly. That is about $16,000 in direct and indirect spending paid for by average Colorado families of four. Can’t we slow future increases?

Property tax revenue has zoomed 164 percent since TABOR passed. It’s now $6.4 billion yearly, the highest single Colorado tax source. That is more than $5,000 in direct and indirect taxes per average Colorado family of four. Can’t we slow future increases?

Your article talked about “the state’s quickly dwindling budget.” Total state spending in 1984 was $3.4 billion. This coming year, it is $19.6 billion, $400 million more than the current year. So while $100 million in tax savings sounds like a lot, it is only one-half of 1 percent of total state spending, which grows much faster than that each year. State spending has never declined in the past quarter-century.

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There are no “potential cutbacks in the K-12 education budget.” State aid is required by current law and Amendment 60 to replace local property tax relief. That is not a cut, but only a very gradual shift in a part of one revenue source over the next 10 years. No school district will lose one dollar. (That was printed as “not reduce any government budget by even one dollar,” which I did not say or mean.)

The assumption in all the threats made by government officials is that there is no waste in government. Nearly everyone agrees government wastes at least 2 percent of its revenue. So why not simply cut the waste?

Contrary to your article, TABOR was not passed during “a robust economic time.” We were in a recession in 1992, and TABOR’s passage triggered eight years of Colorado prosperity. We are in a worse recession now. These three issues will rejuvenate our state economy and create jobs; tax relief always does. Note that the same political scare tactics that failed in 1992 are being resurrected to trick voters this time.

People can see our documentation at cotaxreforms.com. They can get the direct information, not have it filtered by reporters. They will also see there “Fibs by Foes,” which details 15 falsehoods by our campaign opponents. Unfortunately, their scare tactics are sprinkled in this newspaper’s coverage of the ballot issues.

Natalie Menten

campaign coordinator

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