Letter: Proposition 117 to the rescue | VailDaily.com

Letter: Proposition 117 to the rescue

Thomas Jefferson pointed out that “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. That government is best which governs least.” As taxpayers, our wisdom was used by voting on an amendment back in 1992 to limit state spending to about the same as state growth — well known as the TABOR Amendment. 

This has almost worked to keep the state from taxing us out of our hard-earned wages or profits. The problem is those in government always want to spend on their pet programs and have found a way around what we taxpayers have established as a very fair limit on government spending.  We elect those to our legislature to care for our state and control our government so we can carry on with our own lives and families. That confidence really can be disappointing as the con in confidence can also be the con in conman. 

According to The Common Sense Institute, a business-oriented coalition, the state budget was spending 46% or $2,403 per taxpayer outside of TABOR limits in 1993. Fast forward to 2019 and spending has increased so 69% of the sate budget is outside of Tabor limits which amount to $5,787 per taxpayer. The con seems to be with fees versus taxes.

We have not noticed how many fees have been added to help con taxpayers with new enterprises that have the same effect as raising taxes on us taxpayers when we were content knowing TABOR controlled our state spending. Rather nice to know there is someone watching and now the taxpayer has a chance to do something about it. 

Proposition 117 is like the hero coming to our rescue and is on the ballot this fall: It requires voter approval for fees or enterprises that have been used to circumvent the TABOR Amendment. A yes on Proposition 117 won’t stop all spending increases or fees but we must restrain elected officials to a reasonable amount. We must be diligent as taxpayers in trying to remember how long ago Thomas Jefferson noticed that a government can do a great job for us as long as we can work to make sure it does not get too big. Basic economics always shows that removing money from the economy with a tax or fee always slows the dollar turnover and that means less for all taxpayers. Look for Proposition 117 and vote yes to keep our money turning in our economy.

Tom Henderson


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