Vote ‘yes’ on 7D to support an educated workforce for Eagle County (letter)
October 26, 2018
Fifty-one years ago, a small band of courageous leaders traveled through Western Colorado's high country to convince remote communities to tax themselves to create Colorado Mountain College, the only college in a 12,000-square-mile region covering six counties.
The measure passed by a convincing 2-to-1 ratio, and CMC was created. Today, CMC trains the firefighters, first responders, nurses and teachers for our mountain communities and also offers four-year degrees.
Continued support for CMC from our taxpayer-approved mill levy is critical to ensure the essential services and workers needed for our mountain communities to thrive. Without passage of 7D, the revenues for CMC generated through residential taxes are projected to decline while our communities and their educational needs continue to grow.
Voting "yes" on 7D does not increase residential tax revenues above current levels. It simply allows the college to respond to a quirk in the Colorado Constitution (the Gallagher Amendment) that is negatively impacting mountain and rural communities just because of growth in Denver and the Front Range.
Other rural service providers that rely on local property taxes, such as our local fire districts, sanitation districts, metro districts, etc., are also being adversely impacted. One by one, some of these important local providers are seeking relief on this ballot.
This year, CMC is providing nearly 700 Eagle County high school students with dual-enrollment college level classes at no cost to the students. These credits are transferable to all in-state public universities (and many other colleges, as well). In-district college students are paying a total of $2400 for a full 30-credit year of classes. This is saving students and their families thousands of dollars in the cost of higher education.
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It's your tax dollars, and the continuation of that important revenue stream, that will allow CMC to continue to provide this high-quality, affordable local education option to about 20,000 students each year throughout our district.
On Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Eagle County Commissioners unanimously voted to endorse a resolution of support for YES on 7D. Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry said "Colorado Mountain College really fits in the county's mission to make Eagle County a better place to live for all. One of our strategic goals is to promote economic diversity. We rely heavily on Colorado Mountain College for workforce training to support our industry."
Please join me, and vote "yes" on 7D at the bottom of your ballot. For more information, please visit our website, https://www.yescmcyes7D.com.