Vail Daily letter: Yes on 60, 61, 63, 101
Edwards, CO Colorado
The potential for unintended consequences is inevitable with any law, but the very issues that may, for some, give pause to supporting each of these measures are, in fact, necessary to prevent our governments from circumventing the intent of each measure, allowing our governments to further abuse taxpayers.
The same concerns were used against TABOR. After three attempts, TABOR finally passed and became part of our state Constitution, but our governments did not grind to a halt, services were not interrupted, and the world as we know it did not end. In fact, many taxing authorities found ways to circumvent the law; about half of the 82 taxing authorities in Eagle County easily passed de-Brucing measures to weaken TABOR, allowing them to ignore various portions of the law to collect, keep or spend more money that would have been allowed under TABOR.
Some have said these ballot issues will make it almost impossible for district governments to operate. “Almost” being the key – districts will still be able to operate, but these measures will help ensure they all obey the state Constitution and statutes and honor their fiduciary responsibilities to their constituents.
New taxes may still be enacted and existing taxes may still be increased, but voter approval is always required – as it should be! Local governments may still borrow money, just not into perpetuity; we again get to vote on it and it must be bonded debt, but they may still incur debt. Our schools also remain fully funded; that which the state government took from us would be returned. It must also be said that we can amend the amendments at any time; it is not easy, but it is not impossible.
Many say we should be able to trust the people we elect, and I agree, but history consistently proves we cannot. As Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
Unfortunately and all too often, elected officials manage to find a way to slip the chains of the Constitution and run amuck at the federal, state, county and local levels. Politicians that honor their constitutions and refrain from fiscal mischief do exist, but they are few and far between.
TABOR is good! TABOR is our friend! These new measures reinstate and reaffirm TABOR, correct the illegal and abusive auto registration fees and return authority over health care choice to the people.
Any measures that do this will have my unwavering support! Today we have the momentum and the support; we must strike while the iron is hot, while we still can. Such opportunities do not often present themselves; it would be a terrible shame to squander this one.
Vote yes on 60, 61, 63, 101. And don’t forget to Clear the Bench, Colorado!