Vail Daily letter: Ballot measures too costly |

Vail Daily letter: Ballot measures too costly

Shelley Bellm
Vail, CO, Colorado

This fall, the state of Colorado three ballot initiatives (Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61) that would drastically reduce spending for public services, including education, water and sanitation, emergency medical providers, fire departments and town governments, even further.

In a nutshell:

Proposition 101 is a statutory provision that reduces the state income tax, various motor vehicle fees and taxes and fees on telecommunication services.

Amendment 61 amends Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution (TABOR) to add a new section to prohibit state debt and limit local government debt. This amendment would make Colorado the only state in the U.S. banning debt.

Amendment 60 amends Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution (TABOR) to add a new section to establish additional limits on property taxes. This section will be in addition to all other provisions of TABOR. Some of the provisions of this proposal appear intended to override court decisions interpreting TABOR.

Some significant provisions of Amendment 60? For starters, it overturns the will of local voters by voiding past local elections overriding TABOR.

Electors may receive more than one vote in state elections and out-of-state electors may vote in Colorado elections if they own property in the state. “Enterprises” and “authorities” will pay property taxes.

This includes Division of Wildlife, most all Colorado state universities, public hospitals and water authorities. These “enterprises” and “authorities” may increase fees to offset the increased expense.

Lastly, by 2020, school districts must phase out one-half of their 2011 tax rates and the state must backfill the loss of $1.22 billion, with no plans for how to do so.

Specific to the town of Minturn, Proposition 101 will cost the town about $40,665 in 2011, Amendment 60 will cost the town roughly $95,680 and Amendment 61 will cost the town approximately $13,500 (this is the difference in our town center bond liability between 2010 and 2011). So if all of the “terrible three” pass, it will cost the town of Minturn approximately $149,845 each year.

Bottom line? These initiatives would result in even deeper cuts to public services provided all Eagle County community members. On Nov. 2, I urge you to vote “no” on Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61.

Shelley Bellm

Minturn Town Council member

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