2010 Colorado elections: Proposition 101, Amendments 60 and 61

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From the Estes Park Trail Gazette (N. Mark Richards):

T he Larimer County Board of Health passed a resolution on Aug. 25 expressing its opposition to Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 that are scheduled to appear on the 2010 general election ballot. The board has determined that, if passed, these amendments will severely damage the ability of state and local governments and special districts to protect the well-being of Larimer County residents. These amendments constitute a clear threat to the health of our community.

Amendments 60 and 61 will weaken or eliminate many public programs that improve the health of individuals and families and prevent illness in county residents.

Amendment 61 will dramatically impair Larimer County`s ability to finance long-term capital improvements such as water and wastewater treatment plants. The safety of drinking water and potential pollution of ground water will become an increasing problem in the future.

Many aspects of Amendment 60 will overturn the election decisions made by voters over the past eighteen years, creating financial chaos for local communities.

[Proposition] 101 will severely restrict the county`s ability to insure public safety and maintain safe roadways and bridges, resulting in an increase in traffic injuries. Traffic injuries are one of the leading causes of death and disability in young persons.

Passage of these three measures will significantly damage the ability of state and local governments and special districts to fund their most basic level of services related to safety, public health, fire protection, education, hospital services, rural health care, and transportation. The cumulative destructive effect of these three measures will ensure that Colorado will surrender its competitive standing to attract large and small businesses, resulting in little to no economic growth for the state, a steady decline in property values, an erosion of the state and local tax base, and an inability to take advantage of federal dollars that require a state or local match.

More from the Wet Mountain Tribune editorial board:

Superficially, each has the mass-appeal of reducing the burden on Colorado’s taxpayers. But the three are wolves in sheep’s clothing which would economically eviscerate local government bodies, create incredible financial woes for a state government already reeling under recessionary pressures, and place unreasonable burdens on small businesses, property owners, the state agriculture industry and the needs of our communities.

Among the cockamamie elements of the proposals: property taxes for school districts would be cut in half with the state required to make up the difference (how that would be accomplished is conveniently not mentioned); taxes and fees on vehicles and tele-communications would be eliminated; local governments and special districts would not be able to take on any kind of debt; any previous approval by local voters to eliminate or reduce TABOR restrictions would be rescinded. Combined, these measures would virtually eliminate a community’s ability to build or expand infrastructure including roads, schools, medical centers, libraries, water and sewer systems and the like.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

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