Letter: Many to blame for Eagle Co. tax increase
Vail CO, Colorado
In my letter to the Vail Daily last week protesting the inordinate tax grab by our elected officials, I concluded our only recourse was to vote out of office all incumbents at the town and county level. I now need to broaden the list of officials to be voted out or recalled to include our governor (a Democrat) and the Democratic legislature. There are additional facts that have come to my attention from letters and articles in the Vail Daily and in the Denver Post.
1. Approximately 43 percent of our Eagle County real estate taxes go to the Eagle County School District. HOWEVER, none of this year’s increase will go to Eagle County because there will be a dollar-for-dollar decrease in state funding for the Eagle County school system.
2. As a result of the above and due to Gov. Bill Ritter and the Colorado (Democratic) Legislature’s statewide freeze of property tax rates for school systems, 43 percent of the increase in our real estate taxes flow out of the county into the maw of our state legislature to spend as they wish.
3. The Independence Institute of Golden has filled suit contending the freeze is unconstitutional (Remember the TABOR law that was approved a number of years ago that has kept Colorado from getting into the financial difficulties of other tax-and-spend states such as California?)
4. Sen. Greg Brophy, Republican-Wray introduced a bill yesterday to set aside the additional $117 million projected to be raised by this freeze until the courts have issued their determination. Sen. Wray had the old fashioned notion that funds should not be spent until they are certain to be received. Gov. Ritter says he’s confident he will win in court (thus abrogating the intent of TABOR).
5. A letter this past week in the Vail Daily reports that even though a large majority of Eagle County voters voted against the tax to fund early childhood education, the 2008 budget for the county includes $1,451,165 of expenditures for exactly this purpose.
So, our (Democratic) Governor, our (Democratic) legislature and our (Democratic) county commissioners feel free to tax and spend as they wish even if it’s in clear contravention of the will of the voters of this county and state. I say it’s time to throw the bums out. I only wish I had joined the effort to recall Arn Menconi when we had the chance. In addition, there is something else we can do. Go to the Web site for the Independence Institute and support their lawsuit to stop Gov. Ritter’s tax grab.