No, Pitkin County, the sky isn’t falling | AspenTimes.com

No, Pitkin County, the sky isn’t falling

Dear Editor:

Did it bother anyone else to read that Pitkin County used taxpayer dollars to prepare a “doomsday budget” in order to scare voters into opposing three modest, phased-in tax relief measures? They also spent money to say that they have “no money” to spend.

They prepare speculative reports of possible outcomes, trying to use those reports to prevent those outcomes. They will succeed only in wasting tax dollars on situations that don’t happen. There is no action they can take before the election, so there is no legitimate need to publicize their reports now. Yet they prepared budget “scenarios” based on that most scientific analysis, what they call “the word on the street.”

Your report mentioned the likelihood of Amendment 60 passing, but did not note property taxes have soared 183 percent since TABOR passed, and next year will be triple what they were when voters “limited” them. That’s because of illegal evasions Amendment 60 would curtail. Amendment 60 would still allow governments to keep future excess property tax revenue, but only with voter approval every four years.

No ballot issue tells governments how to spend money, so claims the issues will affect various pet projects and funds are scare tactics. Politicians are still responsible for allocating our tax dollars. Somehow they always threaten to cut the basics, and never frills, fat or payroll. Why is that?

Your report also did not mention that the tax relief is phased in over four-to-10 years or more. Why is that? Is it to get voters to think a big-dollar impact (pulled out of thin air) will occur in the first two months?

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You also did not mention that any property tax paid by government-owned businesses goes directly and solely to property tax rate reductions for everyone. Are tax subsidies fair when they give a tax advantage to a government golf course over a private one? No. It is amusing to hear governments tell us to pay more property tax, urging those taxes be raised, but then protest paying them on their own businesses.

What’s wrong with broadening the tax base and lowering the rate? That’s true tax reform.

Tired of high taxes and wasteful spending by government hypocrites? Vote YES on 60, 61 and 101.

Natalie Menten

Denver