October 24, 2013
Tax requests are excessive
Ho hum, another election and another gathering of the "hogs at the trough."
Witness The Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District's request for an increase of over 100 percent in its mill levy, which will raise the district's tax collections by approximately $1 million, an amount that will continue to grow as property values recover from our recent economic downturn.
When I say "hogs," I am not talking about the employees and the volunteers who work for the fire district. They deserve to be well compensated for the excellent job they do, day by day. I'm talking about the management and/or the board of directors who seem unable or unwilling to explain to the electorate why this huge increase in income is necessary and to what use it will be put.
It's just two years ago that the fire district came to the taxpayers for a substantial increase in revenue with no explanation other than their scare tactics about slower response time, inferior service, antiquated equipment, etc. Same story this year — oh, woe be to those who don't blindly send us whatever we ask for.
It's time for the management to sit down, document their business plan, justify their fiscal needs and circulate it to the taxpayers. Until such time as this occurs, I urge you to deny their request and vote "no" on question 4B.
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The second tax increase request that I believe should be denied is contained in Amendment 66, which amounts to $1 billion to be spent on public education in the state of Colorado. The proponents of this bill would have you believe that all of this money will go to the classroom — not so!
A recent study by a Denver TV station that conducts true-or-false research into advertising discovered that about 25 percent of these funds will be used for general expenses. In addition, in the state's chart of proposed fund uses, there is a category defined as "other," whatever that is, which takes up another 25 percent.
It appears that only about half of the $1 billion will ever see the classroom.
We have a good example of fiscal irresponsibility right here at home. During the past year, our local school district created a new staff position and plucked one of the top performing school principals to fill this position. When economic times are tough, you don't create new staff jobs, you determine what you can do without.
I urge to vote "no" on Amendment 66.