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July 1, 2010
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CMC board opposes November ballot measures

GLENWOOD SPRINGS - The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees has formally taken a stand against three measures on the statewide November ballot that it says would damage state and local government's ability to fund basic services.Trustees voted unanimously during a conference-call meeting Wednesday morning to pass a resolution opposing the tax and spending reform measures, Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101.The resolution states that the three measures would significantly damage Colorado governing bodies' ability to fund services related to public safety, transportation and, in the case of CMC, education."The cumulative and destructive nature of the three measures ensures that Colorado will surrender its competitive standing to attract employers, significantly hampering economic growth for the state," trustees of the six-county special community college district stated in their resolution.CMC joins a growing list of other educational and governmental entities and associations that have passed resolutions against, or otherwise expressed concerns over the proposed measures.Among them are the State Board for Community College and Occupational Education, which oversees the 13-member Colorado Community College System.Also stating opposition have been Club 20, an association of Western Slope governments and business interests, the Colorado Center on Law & Policy, the Special District Association of Colorado and, locally, the Aspen Valley Hospital board.The Roaring Fork School District Re-1, which oversees public schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt, is also likely to take a position on the measures later this summer."The one that has the most immediate concern for us is Amendment 61, because it would prevent us from being able to borrow money for cash-flow purposes," Re-1 Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Shannon Pelland said.Re-1 is dependent on local property taxes for much of its funding, but that money does not come in until the end of each school year, she said."We have to borrow ahead of time in the fall to meet our cash-flow needs," Pelland said. "We wouldn't be able to do that if this passes."Amendment 61 would require voter approval before a local government or school district can borrow money, and limits the form, term and amount of borrowing.Amendment 60 would impact entities such as school districts that rely on property taxes, by ratcheting down the property tax rate over time. It would also repeal the so-called de-Brucing measures that have been approved in the years since Colorado's TABOR law was passed, which allow governments to keep and spend tax dollars above certain yearly limits.Proposition 101 would lower the state income tax rate and would eliminate or reduce vehicle registration and telecommunications fees.Proponents of the measures argue that they will bring needed tax relief to the state and rein in government spending and borrowing.Arguments for the initiatives can be found online at www.cotaxreforms.com, while numerous online resources include arguments against the initiatives, including the Colorado Center on Law & Policy, at www.cclponline.org.Other local governments, including the Glenwood Springs City Council and the Garfield County Board of Commissioners, also plan to address the issue in the near future. County commissioners will be considering the matter at their July 6 meeting.jstroud@postindependent.com


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The Post Independent Updated Jul 1, 2010 06:52AM Published Jul 1, 2010 06:50AM Copyright 2010 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.