NO on 1A 1B 1C
In opposition to Boulder County Issue 1AHigher taxes yield less tax revenue. It's happening in Boulder.
Watch channel 8 and listen to the City of Boulder's City Manager tell us that sales tax revenue (which is the largest source of revenue for the city) has dropped 10% this year alone and 20% over the last four years. Nor does the City Manager see where the slide in tax revenues will end. This is ONLY happening in the city of Boulder. Surrounding communities such as Broomfield and Westminster are seeing their sales tax revenues go up.
And, according to the City Manager, the creation of the 29th St. Mall will not fix the problem.
For years, people who have been opposed to these tax increases have warned that the hostile business climate in Boulder will cause tax revenues to go down. Now the golden goose is sick and the medicine being prescribed is the same: more taxes. We can guarantee that the goose will get sicker if this tax is approved.
While the objective of the new tax - more open space - may be worthwhile, the voters should carefully weigh the cost. Boulder city services have been drastically reduced. Eventually the social safety nets that the citizens of Boulder have so carefully and compassionately set up will have to be dismantled because there will be no money. The things that make living in Boulder County worthwhile will disappear as the city and the county desperately scramble for funds just to keep police and fire functioning.
For some, taxes are never high enough. Last year a Boulder city council member stated that the reason to approve 2003's open space retail tax increase was to "finish up" the open space program. Apparently, it was not finished.
Voters should look at the empty retail outlets in the city of Boulder. Do the citizens really want this pattern repeated all over Boulder County?
Every time we raise these taxes then that is more stores that must close because the stores cannot or will not compete. It is desperately needed money that does not come into the government's coffers because taxing at higher rates is now counterproductive.
Read the text of the bond issue: "To the extent that moneys from such tax are not sufficient for the repayment of such bonds ... " money will have to come from such places as the general fund and the conservation trust fund! In other words, in order to sell this bond issue we've got to hock ourselves even more than just this tax increase. More services cut. More need for more taxes. Our children will be forced to pay for our profligacy. It's morally wrong.
For the economic sustainability of Boulder County, for the health of the social safety net, for the health of your job, home, and family you have no choice but to ...
Vote NO on 1A.
In opposition to Boulder County Issue 1BWhy is it that the proponents of this tax have picked fire, forest management, and helicopter emergency search and rescue to fund with this tax?
The answer is obvious: this is what the citizens legitimately care about.
Of course, the opponents of this tax find this to be nothing more than a cynical device to raise taxes. Shouldn't these very basic services be the first things funded by our taxes and not the last?
Would you vote for a tax that read: Should we raise taxes in order to fund consultant fees, retreats for high-level county employees, and the prosecution of medical marijuana users? Of course you wouldn't. But that is exactly what you are doing if you approve this tax. Money inside the government is "fungible". It can go from one place to another. Thus the commissioners come to you asking for money for services that you want even though those services have already (or should have already) been paid for.
Do you remember last year when the Commissioners pleaded with the voters for a tax increase for a jail expansion because the jail was bursting with inmates? It was only a month after the November 2003 election that the Camera reported that the jail population was the lowest in years.
Do not be fooled by this request for additional funds. This basic county service should be funded with the funds on hand. If the county needs more money for general purposes then let them ask the voters for a general tax increase and justify that increase instead of asking for the voters for money for a service that should already be fully funded.
They might as well be asking for guns for the police or hoses for the fire department: but we'd see through that ruse.
What Issue 1B is asking the voters to do is "earmark" funds for forest management, etc. What this does is make government inflexible; but it, of course, gives politicians the excuse to raise taxes. In years in which we have higher priority needs, the money earmarked for forest management might not be available for use in, say, airborne poison monitoring.
This is just a recipe for bad government. Our Commissioners should be free to move funds around depending on the current needs of the County. If our Commissioners need more money for basic services then they should be asking for a general tax increase and not use fire and forest management as an excuse to raise more money for a county that has already raised $4.7 million (See ballot issue 1C.) over its statutory authority.
Vote NO on 1B.
In opposition to Boulder County Issue 1CThe ballot measure starts out with: "With no new tax ..."
Oh, come on! They want to keep tax money that should be refunded and they call this "no new tax". Of course it is a new tax and saying it isn't does not make it so.
Note that they are asking for an additional $4.7 million over current spending. That is, the county didn't spend it but now they want to spend money that they collected that they should not have collected in the first place.
There is also a technical and legal issue. The author of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) assures the author of this comment that the Colorado Constitution limits the period that any tax increase must be resubmitted to voters to four years.
1C asks the voters to approve this tax increase "FOR ALL FUTURE YEARS."
Didn't we approve this "worthy cause tax" last year? Apparently asking the citizens for more money every year requires that the citizens forget what the money was for last year.
What this tax increase does is cause the very people who are at the edge of desperation to need more in the way of social services because the general tax rate has gone up. If you vote for this tax then you are voting to put people out of work and you are voting to make life harder for the poor and you are voting to create the very need for services that this tax is supposed to pay for.
The increasing tax burden will further cripple this county. Just look at the empty stores. Look how hard it is for you and your children to find a job in Boulder County. Do we really want to export jobs to counties with a saner tax policy? Do we really want to increase the congestion on our highways and the increasing pollution that comes with it as people scramble for a job farther and farther from home? Do we really want to cause parents to have even less time with their children as they commute to a job in Adams County?
This money belongs to you. You can give this money to the charity of your choice rather than to the politically connected charities selected by the political bureaucrats. Or you can spend the money at a store in Boulder County and help to create a job that will reduce the burden on the social safety net and give someone the pride and satisfaction of paying their own way.
Or you could just put the money in a bank so that you will have the money to pay for all the other taxes.
Vote NO on 1C.
1333 King Ave
Boulder, CO 80302