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Tax proposal still not equitable

Dear Editor,The “Upper Valley” has agreed on a 0.2 percent RFTA tax increase for all downvalley taxpayers. But “the proposed tax diversion in Pitkin County is a little lower” (Aspen Times, June 4). Since we now pay 0.4 percent in Glenwood Springs, that is a 50 percent increase in RFTA taxes for downvalley communities, and approximately only a 5 percent tax increase for Pitkin County, the portion of RFTA service that commands three times the bus service than is provided to Glenwood Springs.Apparently RFTA and the CEO of RFTA think that the proposed tax increase is equitable. This tax increase will reduce the ratio of RFTA taxes from the present 1.8 times the tax rate (Pitkin County compared to Glenwood Springs) for three times the upvalley bus service to 1.26 times the tax rate for three times the same upvalley bus service, again compared to Glenwood Springs.A more equitable upvalley-to-downvalley tax increase would be to increase the downvalley RFTA taxes at the same rate (i.e., 5 percent) as is proposed for the Pitkin County increase. This would increase Glenwood Springs’ RFTA tax to 0.42 percent instead of the present 0.40 percent.Until the RFTA management provides a clear transparent accounting of the Valley Bus Services, “RFTA tax” income and expenses, completely separated and distinct from all the other services that RFTA may provide, the voters will still reject any tax increase. Stan StevensGlenwood SpringsReagan’s defenders highlight double standardDear Editor,It never ceases to amaze me what a double standard the conservatives/Republicans have when it comes to exercising the right to free speech. It was OK for them to trash President Clinton daily but not for us to voice our opinions on Reagan’s performance (or Bush’s). I wonder why it was worse to lie about sex than to lie about the reasons for going to war.I lived in California when then-Gov. Reagan ordered the National Guard to “shoot the traitors” who were Berkeley students protesting the war in Vietnam. I was then married to a decorated Marine fighter pilot who returned from Vietnam determined that his children would never fight in such a disastrous war. My generation was appalled at Reagan’s foolhardy actions. I found nothing in his tenure as governor or as president to change my mind. Since others have enumerated Reagan’s many failures, I won’t repeat the list. Obviously, revisionistic history is being preached by those who would silence my voice. That won’t work. I am not ashamed, and I have not changed my opinion. What I feel for Reagan and Bush isn’t hate, by the way.We are in deep and serious trouble in Iraq. President Bush has forced us into turning much of the world against us, which we did not need to do. (Much like Reagan’s foolhardy actions.) You can expect me to respect the office of the presidency, but you cannot force me to respect either man.Valerie HarrimanCarbondaleShow some respect at a president’s passingDear Editor,I am appalled at the audacity of what some people can write, particularly in regards to President Reagan’s passing. I was raised to have respect for your elders, the deceased, and for the presidents of the United States. Reagan is gone. Why must we bring up past issues and beat the man down? Whatever he did that you feel was wrong is done and over. It’s in the past and cannot be changed. So tell me why writing letters and saying disrespectful things will make anything better?We hold elections to choose who runs office in this country. I only hope that for your reactions to Reagan, that you used your right to vote. What examples are we setting for children who read the paper by writing these things? I guess I was just raised with pride and respect for my country the old-fashioned way. No matter what I agree with or don’t agree with, I will stand behind my country. It would be interesting to see what is written about you when you pass. Will people write terrible things about you? If you don’t care, keep up the good work. You’ll have more negative about you when you pass than good.Not exactly the goal I’ve set out to achieve in my life. Have you?Tina HoltzRifleClinton’s book will be ‘day in the sun’ for Reagan’s detractorsDear Editor,Those who felt that too much time was spent on the sadness of Ronald Reagan’s death and his exemplary life can now have their “day in the sun” with the 900-page Clinton book and the numerous TV interviews regarding the various unsavory events of his life in the political arena.Irma CrispParachute


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