Eagle County 3B opponents don’t need to register | VailDaily.com

Eagle County 3B opponents don’t need to register

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado- Opponents of a proposed school tax increase have not registered as a campaign committee, because they don’t need to, says a spokesman for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

Campaign signs urging local voters to defeat 3B put campaign are being placed up and down the valley. No opposition committee is registered, and won’t need to be unless they receive and/or spend $5,000 or more, said Richard Coolidge, spokesman with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

That rule is being challenged in court, Coolidge said in an email Monday.

Local Republicans say the opposition signs are theirs and that they’ve spent less than $1,000, says Kaye Ferry, who chairs the Eagle County Republican Party.

“We’re taking a ‘no’ on it, and we’re taking a ‘no’ on the state’s Proposition 103,” Ferry said. “Isn’t the state’s tax increase supposed to cover the losses they say they have?”

You need look no further than Vail to see a similar tax scenario, Ferry said.

“It’s like the open space tax in Vail. Vail residents have to pay the town’s open space tax, and the county’s open space tax. It paying taxes twice for the same thing,” Ferry said.

Local 3B supporters are crying foul, saying that campaigns have rules and that their opponents are not following them.

“If you’re campaigning against something with signs, you have to register as a campaign committee,” said Louise Funk, who is spearheading the campaign to pass the proposed property tax increase. “This just says to me that they don’t play above board.”

They have options, Coolidge said.

“If someone believes there is a campaign finance violation, she will need to file a complaint with our office,” Coolidge said.

Funk said her campaign committee would likely not file a complaint.

Through the first reporting period for campaign finances, through late September, supporters say spent $1,950.

Of that, $1,000 came from two teachers unions, the statewide Colorado Education Association ($750), and the local Eagle County Education Association ($250). Former school board president Scott Green donated $250. FCI Constructors, the company that handled some of the school building construction and renovation over the past few years, donated $500 to support 3B.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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