Valley Voices: California’s answer to our cost of living |

Valley Voices: California’s answer to our cost of living

Marty Lich
Vail CO, Colorado

Many residents are concerned about this property tax issue and the fiscal impact on our local working families.

When we hear our county leaders state such things as “It is government’s role to provide four main things to society and they include economic prosperity and public service,” realize that is called “state socialism” or “remedial measures to benefit the working class.” And when we hear county commissioner candidates like Jon Stavney say that government must take an active stance in sustaining the quality of life for our workforce, well, that is also socialism as defined per The American Socialism Web Site, which states that socialism in a developed economy means a shared prosperity.

The most effective way to stem this government socialism is to stop the tax money that funds it.

We in Colorado owe it to ourselves and our families to find a way to make our children’s birthplace affordable for them, so they can also raise their own families here. We need to rally together and incorporate the third greatest tax revolt in American history. I wish I could take credit for the idea but I can’t. Only our American colonists and California taxpayers can take credit for this.

Californians realized that by the late 1970s California’s property tax burden became intolerable and that many of their families and retired folks could no longer afford such horrendous property tax increases, tax increases such as Eagle County residents saw happen this year. But these California taxpayers responded in this manner. Those irate voters passed California’s Proposition 13. Before Proposition 13 became law, realize that many people faced losing their homes or had to move away just as we do here.

Proposition 13 offers more than just immediate taxpayer protection and it does more than limit the dollar amount one’s property taxes can go up each year. It also passes those controlled property tax increases onto any child who inherits their parent’s property; thus enabling those local children to remain in their hometowns while raising their own families.

And Proposition 13 supplies one more taxpayer control. It requires that all state tax-rate increases be approved by a two-thirds vote of the legislature and that local tax rates also have to be approved by a vote of the people.

The California taxpayers feel that the people’s right to vote on taxes is a key taxpayer protection. They realized that inflated housing values on paper do not pay actual cash towards their skyrocketing property taxes. And Proposition 13 protects the taxpayer the moment they purchase property in the state.

This is something Arn Menconi, Peter Runyon, and Sara Fisher should be more than willing to carry a state petition for. After all, Arn himself said it was of top priority to embrace and nurture successful families and grow our economy. Commissioner Menconi then added that over the next several months county commissioners would begin implementing collaborations that bring needed solutions.

I have found the solution for Arn. It is called Proposition 13, Colorado style. And for the record, I fit the profile of one of those working families our commissioners speak of.

Because once, and not that long ago, I read a Vail Daily city editor commentary and it stated the following, “Small government? Big government? Socialism? Communism? They (working families here) don’t care …”

The Vail Daily’s city editor doesn’t speak for all us “working families” here. I care and I am confident that I am not alone.

For more information on Proposition 13; read the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association at

Marty Lich is a Gypsum resident. E-mail comments about this column to

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