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Rifle rec center sales tax a bad idea

Guest Column
Rifle No More TAXES

You may have heard by now that a 0.74 percent sales tax increase question will most likely be on the Rifle September municipal election ballot. This tax would be used to help build a new recreation center in Rifle.

We feel that some citizens who are opposed to new taxes voted for the 2012 sales tax increase, but did so to offset even higher water rate hikes. Citizens are still upset about last year’s water rate hike and sales tax increase.

Out of concern for our fellow citizens, Rifle No More TAXES was formed. We are not opposed to a new recreation center; we are opposed to more taxes.

Rifle has 9,172 residents, per the 2011 U.S. Census, and we are already $25 million in debt from the new water treatment plant. There are currently three fitness centers in Rifle: the Rifle Fitness Center, 1211 Fitness and Rifle Outlaw Fitness. We do not have enough residents to attract a large, private enterprise fitness center.

• New Castle’s total sales tax (city, county and state) is 7.8 percent; the increase will bring Rifle’s total sales tax to 8.89 percent.

• Adding to the tax will keep shoppers away from Rifle businesses.

• The tax increase will give Rifle the highest sales tax in the county.

• The new recreation center will run on an annual $173,000 operational deficit. Rifle is already running on a deficit.

• Federal taxes have increased, and we will soon have the Obamacare tax.

The economy has not recovered. Spouses are traveling out of state for jobs, and families are losing their homes to foreclosure. The number of families on food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is at an all-time high.

Fitness memberships aren’t a priority when a family is struggling to pay for food, water and heat. Many families are barely making it. Is it fair to burden those families with precarious financial situations to provide a benefit to a comparative few?

Taxes hurt people. Vote no this September.

This guest column was authored and submitted by members of Rifle No More TAXES. The group can be found on Facebook or email riflenomoretaxes@yahoo.com.


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