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Letters: Taxpayers need a break

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Give taxpayers a break

This is in reply to the county commissioners’ commentary on Nov. 9. They would like to spend the revenue potentially generated by the 40-percent increase in Eagle County assessments.

While a spend-minded person can always find ways to spend money, I believe it is time to give the taxpayers a break.

The commissioners are advocates for “affordable housing,” yet by spending the $4.5 million potentially generated by this increased county assessment they are going to increase the cost of affordable housing. Gov. Bill Ritter has already done it by passing the “flat mill levy” for schools.

If the commissioners spend the $4.5 million in the upcoming year for the justice system, they will consider it theirs to spend in the years ahead and all of our taxes will have been increased forever.

I have two recommendations: 1) If the justice system needs funds for buildings and technology then fund it through a bond. These assets should have at least a 20-year life and by using a bond, the costs are spread over those 20 years, and not put totally on the current Eagle County residents. 2) Go find the funds by reducing other lower priority items. When was the last time the county really tried to reduce costs? Based on a total budget of $100 million finding a couple of million should not be very tough.

If you do spent the funds generated by the increased assessment, then be prepared for the taxpayer response when they open their tax bills next year and look at what the county, the state and even metro districts have done to their total tax bills. The tax bills will not be pretty.

David Mitchell

Edwards

Cavemen, capitalists

Austin Richardson and Andrew Towne made a lot of valid criticisms about sports. There’s too much watching and not enough doing. Instead of spending hours on the couch or barstool, drinking and eating more than is good for you, get up and do something that will get your cardiovascular system revved up.

Pick what works for you ” walking, running, biking, volleyball, weights, dancing, basketball, whatever. Something you like, so you’ll keep doing it on a regular basis. Listen to music or books if that defeats boredom, which is one of the enemies of exercise.

The Nov. 11 New York Times has an op-ed by Michael Lewis, summarizing the case against college sports as presently constituted. It’s really a form of professional sports for the entertainment of alumni to encourage contributions. What about the high school level?

I was disappointed last month to see that some local parents were pushing for new seating and Astro-turf for Battle Mountain High School. It could cost up to $800,000 just for the turf. How many kids play on the football team? Wouldn’t the money be better spent on programs that promote physical activities for a broader group of students? Something they’d continue to do in their later years?

One point Richardson and Towne made was to tie the present excesses of sports with capitalism and American culture. There’s no denying they’re a major business and get a lot of attention. But totalitarian regimes also support big league sports.

Consider the Nazis, and the show they made of the 1936 Olympics, promoting Aryan superiority. Or the Soviet Union, which constantly broke the rules for amateur athletes in order to make communism look like the wave of the future. The next Olympics are going to be held in Red China, which will no doubt use them as a showcase for their ideology.

Terry Quinn

Eagle


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