Letter: Death and taxes | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Death and taxes

By my count, I will be voting for eight measures that will either increase my income tax, my sales tax and/or my property tax.

From the state down there are: Amendment 69 (single-payer health care), Amendment 70 (minimum-wage increase), Amendment 72 (tobacco tax increase), ballot issue 1A (Eagle County affordable housing), ballot issue 1B (Eagle County trails), ballot issue 2F (Pan and Fork Park), ballot issue 2G (Pan and Fork Park improvement) and ballot issue 4A (Basalt Library).

In addition, I am facing a 35 to 44 percent increase (depending on whom and what I’m reading) to my health insurance premium and I only have an HMO option. I’m a divorced mother who is 100 percent responsible for her 20-year-old college student. I have a mortgage, a car payment and a whole basket of other living costs. The pie is getting sliced pretty thin.

So when I mull over all the measures, some stand out as worthy and some are glaringly half-baked. 2F and 2G are measures that fit the latter category. The numbers are enormous and from everything I’ve read, the plan is not clear. There isn’t much more that 2F and 2G will do other than give us more park to maintain and sink us further into debt. On top of all this, the 2017 town of Basalt budget apparently has only two months of reserves as the town braces for another lawsuit. And now, according to last week’s paper, the town is pondering how to honor its $500,000 housing pledge. Where are our priorities?

When I mark my ballot this week, I will be sure to vote “no” on 2F and 2G. There is no reasonable justification to increase our debt so monumentally when the town’s finances are stretched so thin. One thing’s for certain: By Nov. 9, I’ll know how much thinner I will be slicing my pie.

Laurie Dows

Basalt


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