Vote yes for clean air | AspenTimes.com

Vote yes for clean air

Dear Editor:

I urge you to take the time to vote on Nov. 6. Although we are all busy, there are a number of measures before you that deserve thoughtful consideration. Take, for example, Referendum 2A. The ballot language is lengthy, but the issue can be summed quickly:

The city of Aspen funds an eight-route free transit system that carries an amazing one million passengers each year. If you or anyone you know rides the

Hunter Creek, Castle Maroon, Cemetery Lane, Mountain Valley, Maroon Creek Road, Burlingame, Cross Town or Galena Street shuttles ” please know that you benefit from this system.

Our transit system helps to reduce the demand for parking and helps to cut the amount of pollution that the alternative trips by auto would create. Net result: cleaner air for everyone.

Current transit funding cannot keep pace with the rising costs of providing transit service. Without new funding sources, Aspen’s free transit system will face major service cuts, such as the elimination of entire routes, as early as 2008.

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Referendum 2A proposes to replace the current .25 percent sales tax with a .15 percent sales tax ” reducing the amount of taxpayer dollars used to fund transit. A .15 percent sales tax equates to just 15 cents on a $100 purchase.

Referendum 2A also proposes a new 2.1 percent use tax on construction materials purchased outside of the city for use on Aspen construction projects, taxing a segment of the economy that is currently untaxed in Aspen. Small construction projects (less than $100,000) would be exempt from the proposed use tax.

Funds raised by the proposed sales and use taxes would be used for transit and pedestrian purposes only. No parking programs would be funded by these dollars.

Lower sales tax and a new tax on large construction projects. Continued operation of our valuable transit system. Cleaner air for everyone!! When you break it down, it’s simple. Please take just a few moments on Nov. 6 to preserve our vitally important transit system by voting YES on 2A.

Dwayne Romero

City councilman

Aspen