Vail Daily column: I don’t oppose all tax hikes

Michael Cacioppo
Valley Voices
Michael Cacioppo
Staff Photo |

As a candidate for state representative from Colorado House District 26, I was disappointed to listen to my friend Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes, who is registered unaffiliated, Vail Daily Editor Ed Stoner, a registered Democrat, and Eagle County Schools Superintendent Jason Glass, also a registered Democrat, do a radio show promoting the two proposed Eagle County Schools property tax increase proposals to raise about $150 million, which is probably the largest tax increase in Eagle County history.

Unfortunately, the radio show lacked any balance from the conservative viewpoint. This seems to be a theme this political season, as local Republican candidates for office are pushing back against any debates or forums that do not allow for the local Republican Party to choose a local conservative moderator of its choice, and the local Democratic Party to choose a local liberal moderator of its choice. Local liberals seem to want a single moderator only, of their choice, or like the recent town of Eagle trustee debates, two moderators who were both liberals.

It is actually possible that there may not be any debates if the local Democratic Party does not agree to allowing the local Republican Party to choose one of two moderators. So be it if there are no debates for this November election season.

But, I digress. Back to the unbalanced “Reporters” local radio show. Carnes implied that I, Michael Cacioppo, would be opposed to any tax increase. However, facts demonstrate otherwise. I recently voted for the Eagle County Ambulance District tax increase for a district that, in the past, had amazingly voluntarily reduced its property tax, and in April, was then asking for a needed tax increase. It passed.

I recently voted for the Eagle River Fire Protection District property tax increase to build a new, larger fire station in Avon, closer to the interstate, which would house their needed ladder truck that previously could only be housed at Cordillera. It would also allow our firefighters to access Interstate 70 to Minturn quicker, access Wildridge quicker and access I-70 to Edwards quicker. It passed.

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I supported moving the town of Avon Police Department next to Northside Coffee & Kitchen, to improve an outdated 40-year-old building. It passed.

I supported the Gypsum Fire Department tax increase to allow that department to help pay for maintenance, including $300 oil changes for their fire trucks. It passed.

I also recently suggested to school district board president, Kate Coacharella, that the board might be able to make an argument for remodeling outdated 40-year-old Red Sandstone Elementary School, and possibly the Eagle Valley High School that was enlarged a few years back, but they certainly do not need $150 million to do that; more like $40 million would be needed. I suggested to her that, with many county businesses still suffering from our 21st century economic depression, and with many voters already agreeing to raise taxes last April and May for most of the other above mentioned tax proposals, I predicted that the school district’s largest tax increase in Eagle County history will probably fail.

Further, I only hear Superintendent Glass crediting himself and my state rep opponent for testifying before the state Legislature to allow a tax override vote for our school district’s proposed second ballot question this November, asking for $8 million dollars per year, on top of the first question’s request for $144 million per year. Glass and my opponent always seem to forget to mention that I also testified in that behalf, and answered another legislator’s question that it was former Democratic Gov. Roy Romer who had previously prevented the right for any school district to be able to ask voters for an override increase. I believe our school district ought to have the ability to ask, but also that they should have to demonstrate a need before voters agree to raise their property taxes. Why do I get no credit for that?

Michael Cacioppo, an Avon resident, can be reached at Political2@, or you can call or text to 970-280- 5555.

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