I still say vote no on 1A
August 8, 2002
My, The Aspen Times is prepared to pull out all the stops to defend Pitkin County and a tax increase and a personal attack on me. (The Aspen Times, Aug. 8.)
I am a “hypocrite” and criticized for my voting record, but years of mismanagement and overspending at the county are not even mentioned.
Yes, as a City Councilman I often voted to place tax issues on the ballot. I voted to “put them on the ballot,” not necessarily to vote for them. The Isis tax was a temporary sales tax to save a community amenity and improve our tourism. However, the people voted no and we moved on.
When I placed “De-Brucing” questions on the ballot I voted to allow the people to decide if they wanted to spend a certain amount on specific projects or if they wanted the money refunded. The choice was up to the taxpayer/voter.
The county just wants your money; they are not telling you for what. (I defy anyone to read the question in the voting booth and tell me what it means.)
I am not against the county asking to change their home rule charter to remove tax limits; I am only asking people to vote no. But they need the facts.
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This may not be a tax increase per se, but 1A would raise the limits, change the way taxes are calculated, and open the door for higher taxes. So, as a citizen of Pitkin County and a person who opposes bigger government and higher taxes, I chose to oppose 1A and I attempted to explain my reasons to the public via the press. I thought that was my right as an American, but perhaps The Aspen Times would like Pitkin County to secede from the United States.
The bottom line is, we have double protection now under the home rule charter and the state constitution/TABOR. These protections keep our taxes lower, not just property taxes, and I urge everyone to vote no on 1A to keep them that way.
Finally, do not fall for the scare tactics with regards to our nonprofits. If you want these nonprofits to have more funds, simply write them a check. Avoid the middleman – Pitkin County. Keep your taxes low, and donate as much money as you like to your favorite nonprofit.
A no vote on 1A will not kill the nonprofits, it will not end life as we know it and it will not result in poor roads or no police protection, (which are mandated by the state).
A no vote will preserve our tax protections, it may force the county to put their financial house in order and it will definitely send a message that we want to keep our taxes low.
Please vote no on 1A on Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Aspen City Councilman