Vail Valley: Here’s a look at the fall ballot issues
It’s silly season, otherwise know as election time. And for the business community and municipalities throughout Eagle County and the entire state of Colorado, there is nothing sillier than Colorado ballot issues Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61.A quick review:Proposition 101 is a statutory provision that would reduce state and local revenue sources including car registration, license fees, the income tax rate and phone bill taxes. Amendment 60 is a constitutional amendment that would cut local property taxes in half without providing any mechanism for replacing those funds.Amendment 61is a constitutional amendment that would prohibit state debt or loans of any kind and would make it more difficult for local districts to bond to build, repair or improve school buildings.At first glance, these initiatives seem appealing – after all, who wants to pay automobile registration fees or reduce your property taxes? However, as eloquently stated by a citizen’s group in Montrose, these ballot issues are like onions: “the more you peel them back, the more you want to cry.”When you learn more about these issues, you’ll find the potentially devastating effects on our economy here in Colorado and Eagle County. Some of the many negative impacts of Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 include:These measures eliminate any practical means for constructing the most basic public infrastructure projects moving forward – airports, highways, gas & electric utilities, hospitals, prisons, public schools, flood control projects, and much more. They cut school funding in half, forcing the termination of more than 8,000 classroom teachers and an estimated 73,000 additional jobs (source: http://www.donthurtcolorado.com). These issues would force 99 percent of the Colorado general fund to be used for K-12 education (source: Denver Post, Aug. 30), thus eliminating many other state funding needs including infrastructure, higher education, transportation, tourism and economic development.Hitting closer to home, Eagle County schools alone would lose 41 percent or more of their funding (source: http://www.lookingforwardcolorado.com ).Join the Vail Valley Partnership for an overview of the implications of these three citizen’s initiatives as we head into the November election. The Partnership is hosting Dee Wisor of Sherman & Howard Oct. 6 at the Tavern at Vail Square – a free event to VVP members – to help educate the Vail Valley business community on these important ballot issues. To learn more, call Jennifer Weintraub at 970-477-4001.Chris Romer is executive director of the Vail Valley Partnership.