In Colorado, there is a constant force of citizens, including and led by Doug Bruce, who always feel the need to shake up the status quo. Every election, this group of people, work to get new laws passed that are out there. In this election term, the issues these people are fighting for are Amendments 60, Amendment 61, and Proposition 101. In the interest of full disclosure and fairness, I have included some of the verbiage of the Amendments. Reprinted from Colorado Blue Book, third draft (www.colorado.gov)
Amendment 60-Property Taxes
Amendment 60 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:
Cut local property tax rates for public school operating expenses in half over 10 years and fully replace this money with state funding each year
This Amendment looks like a voters dream. It says we can live without paying property taxes and still have the government services like drive-able streets, nice downtown areas, street lights and all of the other things that we take for granted. It says we can get the money from the State, to operate our schools and other vital public needs. It would require public businesses to pay the bulk of the property taxes in the cities of Colorado. Basically, it is saying that the citizens of Colorado would hardly pay any taxes, our cities would have to get funding from an already strapped State, and everything will run just like it has forever, no problem.
It is apparent that the people behind this, like Doug Bruce are out of touch with reality. If there are no property taxes or cities are relying on a broke State Government, Colorado will fall apart. The next Amendment is even more ridiculous than the first one.
Amendment 61:-Limits on State and Local Government &Borrowing
Amendment 61 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:
Prohibit all new state government borrowing after 2010
This Amendment says the the State cannot borrow money from anyone after this year. It says the voters are required to get involved with the details of Colorado’s financial business and monitor what it does. It says that every detail of the State concerning it’s financial borrowing practices, has to be approved by the voters. What would be the cost of doing this? How many special elections are needed to keep up with this? In the meantime, our State has to put everything on hold, waiting for voter approval. At best this is an Amendment that would create more issues than we have already, here in Colorado.
Proposition 101-Income, Vehicle, and Telecommunication Taxes and Fees
Proposition 101 proposes amending the Colorado statutes to:
Reduce the state income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.5 percent in 2011, and to 3.5 percent gradually over time
All of these ballot initiatives sound like a great thing. We all want lower taxes and lower costs in our cities. We want the officials running our cities to be frugal with our money. However, passing these initiatives would devastate Colorado.
The financial deficit that would be created by the implementation of these is hard to imagine. Schools, that already struggle to supply all the needs of the kids, would be burdened with even more loss to try and borrow from the State. Roads and basic city services would no longer be feasible to maintain. State money, that is dwindling as I write, would not be available. Then, the requirement of States to NOT borrow money would limit the whole process even further.
Doug Bruce has continued to make Colorado look bad,because of his insistence to promote this stuff. No one in their right mind could make the argument that these will actually work.