Vail Daily letter: Crippling measures
Vail, CO, Colorado
Vote “no” on Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101. These statewide ballot measures are bad for Colorado and bad for Eagle County.
They will constrain all levels of government in Colorado, from the most local, that connect with each of us through direct services, to the statehouse.
These questions are on the ballot because Colorado allows both the General Assembly and citizens to propose constitutional amendments and state laws. The “Ugly 3,” as 60, 61 and 101 are known, were citizen-initiated via the petition process.
By whom? We still don’t officially know.
The measures were approved for the November ballot in December 2009. Since then, there’s been an obstructive legal game that has squandered taxpayer dollars while the public has attempted to identify the backers and proponents of the measures. Wasting public funds by playing games with Colorado’s taxpayer-funded court system — from those leading an anti-tax campaign? Please.
Election day is near. The measures were certified 10 months ago, yet voters still don’t have a straight answer as to who got them on the ballot. The Colorado Springs Gazette wrote, “State law assures the public the right to know about the organizers, major contributors, and expenses of ballot initiatives.” Besides everything that’s bad in 60, 61, and 101, how can one vote for something that’s been organized by deception?
So, what’s bad about them?
Rolling back annual registration and title fees to $10 per vehicle (as Proposition 101 intends) to 1919 levels does what to keep Vail Pass open during the next snowstorm?
Requiring school districts to cut their non-debt mill levies in half over the next 10 years while requiring the state to backfill that revenue loss (as Amendment 60 would do) does what to keep Colorado students competitive?
Prohibiting the state and all of its political subdivisions from borrowing money in any form (as Amendment 61 proposes) does what to strengthen Colorado? Forcing voter-approved debt (for local governments) to be repaid in ten years does what for contractors, builders, bankers, and other businesses that will see government projects shrivel?
While we still don’t know the real proponents of 60, 61, and 101, we do know the opponents: virtually every professional association, trade group, and business interest that is related to the livelihood of both Eagle County and Colorado. A list (over 500 and growing) is posted on http://www.donthurtcolorado.com/the-coalition/.
Some opponents connected to our local economy are the Colorado Association of Realtors, Associated General Contractors of Colorado, Colorado Bankers Association, Colorado Association of Home Builders, Colorado Restaurant Association, and Colorado Ski Country USA.
Our most basic services are at risk: fire protection, transportation, water and sewer services, public education, recreation programs, public health, libraries, public safety. The results could be disastrous. See the impact of 60, 61, and 101 for yourself by using the Backseat Budgeter online tool (http://www.backseatbudgeter.com/ to balance the state budget.
These ballot measures are drawing national attention, and America is watching to see if Colorado will implode under the guise of tax reform. Early voting started October 18. Please, vote “no” on Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101.
Diane L. Johnson