Guest commentary |

Guest commentary

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The doomsayers are once again coming out of the woodwork to denounce the initiatives that we will vote on in November; Amendments 60, 61 and Prop. 101. For those unfamiliar with these tax saving measures, they are: Amendment 60 reduces property taxes and refunds it back to the tax payer as TABOR originally intended; Amendment 61 prohibits special districts and schools from borrowing; and Prop. 101 prevents scalping from telecom companies on bills and limit vehicle taxes.

The same government and civic agencies that fought the adoption of TABOR so many years ago are crying that their budgets will be slashed and services will be cut. What about the budgets of the thousands of Colorado residents who are without jobs and struggling to hang on to their homes. Wouldn’t a reduction of property taxes help them to get a hold of their finances. I value a quality school system, and functional police and fire departments, but I see many people in the private sector who struggle to make ends meet, without food on the table, so I have little sympathy for well-paid municipal special “interests” who fear having their ox gored!

The savings that Amendment 60 would achieve for a household with a $295,000 mortgage would be $376 per year. Is there a household out there that couldn’t benefit from that? Maybe help send another kid to college? Even so-called “tea party” advocates, who supposedly praise tax cutting measures and getting back to basics, are denouncing these bills because they don’t want to see their budgets cut. Newspapers and the media are also jumping aboard the naysayer train, just like during TABOR, giving negative press to the efforts of reformists who want to put money back in the pockets of the taxpayer. Didn’t we start out as a nation where we pay as we go? Do we have to follow in the footsteps of national politics and not balance our budgets the way individual taxpayers do?

In the coming months the voice of these amendment opponents will become even more shrill, warning that government services will be cut or suffer drastically. Ask your unemployed neighbor if he will be worse off if we have to tighten our belt and live within more reasonable budgets for municipal, school and special districts. Ask your neighbor if he or she could use an additional $376 in order to buy groceries and fund their kids’ future!

Philip Maass

Glenwood Springs

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