Colorado Springs must reprint election notice
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – Anti-tax crusader Douglas Bruce spotted an error in an election notice mailed to Colorado Springs voters, and city officials say it will cost $20,000 to print and distribute a corrected version.
The mailing notified voters that a proposed $46 million tax increase will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Under a voter-approved state law known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR, the notice must include actual or estimated totals of city spending for the current year and the previous four years.
The election notice mailed to voters included totals for 2006 through 2010, but it should have included 2005 through 2009.
Bruce, of Colorado Springs, is the author of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, a state constitutional amendment limiting taxes and spending.
The difference in years included in the election notice offers a starkly different trend in city spending.
According to the city, its spending subject to TABOR limits was $251.5 million in 2006. Not counting the proposed tax increase, it estimated the figure for 2010 would be $200.4 million, or a 20 percent drop from 2006.
The city estimated its spending subject to TABOR limits was $215.5 million in 2005. Its latest estimate for 2009 was $212.2 million. That represents a 1.5 percent decline from 2005.
“It isn’t just Doug Bruce nitpicking,” Bruce said. “We’re talking about big bucks here.”
“We disagree with Mr. Bruce, as we always do, on the numbers,” city spokeswoman Sue Skiffington-Blumberg said.
The city is handling the mailing and paying for the new election notices.
“We appreciate this error being brought to our attention in time to correct the situation,” Skiffington-Blumberg said.
Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com