Dave Wallace: Two thumbs down
The upcoming Election Ballot once again includes a local Tax Measure where revenue will ultimately find its way into the City Coffers. Referred Measure 2A did not come easy, suggested tax percentages and timelines went from high to low, and sooner to later. Motions were first made and accepted to collect an additional tax of 5%. This level lasted until the City Attorney provided some input which led to a new Motion approval for a 0-10% variable tax. Later it was suggested to reduce this value to 2.5% or maybe even go to 0% after news concerning some potential competition from a neighboring community came in. Eventually after several Council sessions a Motion was made and approved to add a variable 0-4% tax to the retail sale of marijuana, with revenue being dedicated to the local Library and Museum for five years, replacing a previously approved Motion of three. After the commitment period, the elevated tax revenue will conveniently begin flowing into the General Fund for discretionary spending by the City.
Not once during the wrangling sessions was there a mention of the established operating cost of the Library and Museum. The $100,000 as specified in 2A would of course be helpful, but it is merely 10% of the average operating cost of these public entities. One must wonder, what percentage of a 0-4% variable tax rate equates to $100,000 per year, for we all know what it can’t be. Unlike some Tax Initiatives which have sunset clauses where the specific tax is discontinued, Referred Measure 2A retains the ability to collect tax, it’s the support commitment that terminates.
This Measure is a prime example of “Tax Targeting,” singling out a specific business and/or demographic for an additional tax, likely doubling the Local City Sales Tax for these entities. This is a typical “Hook and Worm” strategy which plays the majority against the minority. Many individuals will not be affected by this targeting, but don’t get too comfortable, “Elevated Tax Targeting” has no boundaryies, it’s only a matter of time before the tax man sets his sights on a target that will affect you. This devious maneuver which violates the rule of law must be squelched in its infancy.
The ballot also contains a state initiative, Proposition CC, which asks the voter to relinquish their rights under the Constitution’s Tabor Amendment, allowing the state to make deep cuts into the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Although carving away at the people’s rights does not end at the State level, our local Referred Measure 2A also holds a knife to our Constitutional rights. The Debrucing language included in 2A gulls the voter into relinquishing their rights provided by the Tabor Amendment. This Constitutional exemption has been rubber-stamped on Measure 2A with no Parliamentary approval through the City Council.
The State of Colorado regulates the number of subjects on a Ballot Measure to a single subject, as defined under C.R.S. 1-40-106-5, Single Subject Requirement. Referred Measure 2A and its listing of separate subjects likely violates this Colorado Statute.
Every year through inflation and taxes the consumer has less money to spend at their own discretion. Every year from the national level to the local level the liberty of the people is being infringed upon, our constitutional rights are continuously under attack. We the people of this great nation must ask ourselves, “when is enough, enough?” We either stand for the principles and values our great nation was founded upon, or we offer our hands and accept the shackles.