Dave Wallace: 1A a revenue strategy
As the midterm election draws near, propaganda has once again taken up occupancy in the local mail boxes and along the city streets. Millions of dollars are being spent across our nation in hopes of soliciting your support for government and special interest group initiatives, as well as political positions. Posters and mailing cards are instructing you how to vote. Unfortunately, many individuals will succumb to the propaganda. For those of you who do enjoy digesting the information and making your own decisions please read on.
Referred Measure 1A, which is a “dedicated recipient tax” of 2.85 mills would bring the total countywide levy to 64 mills, and city residents would see a total of 87 mills. Referred Measure 1A, if approved, would be a considerable increase of 12.5 percent in property tax revenue received by Moffat County. Moffat County’s property tax rate is already much greater in comparison to our bordering counties. Moffat County’s property tax assessed against a property’s fair market value is 0.42 percent, while Routt County collects 0.36 percent and Rio Blanco 0.32 percent. Referred Measure 1A is requesting $1,200,000 in funding for the Museum of Northwest Colorade and Moffat County Libraries. This is a 22 percent, or $265,000, increase over the 10-year average operating cost for these entities. Referred Measure 1A basically launches and supports an employment platform, locking in a debt to the taxpayer regardless of the county’s future demand or population adjustments.
Moffat County tax dollars continue to be spent loosely. Not only have county officials modified the county bylaws to allow them a greater level of spending flexibility at their convenience, they continue to abuse and ignore the competitive bidding process. Loose fiscal policies are not justification for an additional tax burden levied against the property owner. An increase in taxes means less money in the pocket of the individual and fewer dollars available for the family household to spend at its own discretion. We live under a dome of hypocrisy. While our government continues to reject frugal fiscal policies, it expects you to modify your family’s finances to support its deficiencies.
Commissioner Ray Beck has informed us, as noted in the Craig Press article on Oct. 10, that 1A originated with a community task force and not the commissioners. I find this statement to be very deceptive and misleading, since the commissioners, in fact, hired a consulting firm earlier this year to provide guidance in laying out a “successful tax measure,” as it was referred to. Not only have the commissioners spent tax dollars on outside support for this proposal, this initiative is also listed as a bullet item in the 2018 budget under “Strategies To Increase Revenues” and reading: “Explore a possible ballot measure in 2018 to support specific programs.” The 2018 budget was approved in December 2017. Ladies and gentlemen, 1A is exactly what it was designed to be — a strategy to increase revenue — and it has been in the works for over a year now.
An additional, and very disturbing, feature of the 1A proposal is the language urging you, the voter, to relinquish your rights provided under the Colorado Constitution. Ladies and gentlemen, the constitution, whether it be federal or state, provides us with liberty and protects the people from an oppressive government.
Dedicated recipient taxes are contagious; it won’t stop here. Next will be a measure soliciting funds to support the baseball parks and recreational facilities, then the fairgrounds, etc. Ladies and gentlemen, this underhanded revenue strategy must be eliminated before it becomes a reality.