Thanks Anita. I'd like Bennett to put it on the record in WRITING that he does not consider City sales tax dollars diverted to the URA to be CITY sales tax dollars. If these TIF sales tax dollars are not City sales tax dollars, then what are they? Bennett's non-sense reveals that he is COS very own Mad Hatter explaining to Alice how things work in Wonderland.
The Bruce article in the Gazette was followed by 15 comments, including these 4:
“…voters have had many chances to repeal all or part of the TABOR provisions over the past 15 years, and they have said NO by a wide margin each and every time. TABOR is wildly popular with anyone who believes in fiscal responsibility. Were you here in the 80's, pre-TABOR? Do you remember the out-of-control spending we taxpayers had to fund? Do you remember that most of it was lobbyist-driven expenditures to benefit the ski and energy industries and land developers? What is bad fiscal policy about forcing government to get taxpayer approval for any tax increases? Governments derive their legitimacy from the "consent of the governed." TABOR gives us excellent opportunities to grant or withhold that consent.”
“Bruce authored TABOR but the voters approved it. If ballots were not secret then those for TABOR would be being punished as well. Bruce had no "criminal" record prior to TABOR" did he? After TABOR" the all out campaign against him by city leaders and their puppets started. The city was always on spending spree until TABOR and now we are punished with dim street light,s, chuckholes. potholes and no infrastructure maintenance. Tax dollars are NOT for personal little projects downtown”
“…how many other people in town owe back taxes but don't have the G publishing an interactive map showing where each $250 is due? Bruce is singled out for special treatment because the G is carrying water for its political buddies who have 2 ulterior motives. They want to overturn TABOR, but it is still wildly popular with everyone except politicians. Stigmatizing the author is a way of attacking TABOR indirectly, hoping people will transfer their negative feelings about Bruce to TABOR. Notice they never mention Bruce without tying him to TABOR.”
Gazette editor Laugeson – husband of Dede, rabid stalker of Bruce - comments: “The Gazette has routinely editorialized against the anti-TABOR lawsuit and has fought against every TABOR-killing proposal to come along. The Gazette's news department, not the editorial board, produced the report.” So says Laugeson. The fact is, the 4-page spread on Bruce is propaganda, not news, just as the Gazette’s recent major marijuana report produced by its news department was propaganda. Does the Gazette "news" department think their readers are easily led sheep who won't recognize the purpose of this full-frontal attack on the author of TABOR?
On Transcendental Meditation and PTSD:
The Transcendental Meditation program has been endorsed by the Veterans Administration for over 20 years for soldiers with PTSD.
Kindly watch and share with all -
"PTSD and Transcendental Meditation - David George, Infantryman" (2:34; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ki4c-XkYsM / excellent )
"Transcendental Meditation Improves Performance at Military University" (5:12;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIH0913lQe0 )
Bill @ BillsArtBox.com
P.S. Please visit http://www.OperationWarriorWellness.org for more information.
Note: Results are available for long-standing PTSD symptoms, as well, including for Vietnam Veterans.
Also, see the dramatic effects for Domestic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for women and children, and for PTSD for "First Responders", at http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/#video=6gM_sXiUPvo (5:24).
CURIOUS: I actually asked Bennett that question. I asked him following a meeting that Council, County Commissioners, former Mayor Bach and other players had about the RTA.
Specifically, I asked Bennett if he considered dollars collected through tax increment financing "city dollars." He said, "No." Bennett also refused to sign a letter stating he would support a public vote if tax increment financing was used.
So, even though those dollars would've been going to our general fund to pay for things like roads, police and fire protection and parks, and would instead be funneled through the URA to pay for a stadium, Bennett does not consider those dollars "city dollars."
I'll eat my hat if Bennett supports a public vote for tax increment financing. I believe he's simply mincing words and hoping the public isn't paying attention.
Public space should be used by ALL who live in Colorado Springs... not just those who have somewhere better to do. This ordinance punishes the disadvantaged citizens by imposing fines and jail time for simply being outside.
Criminalizing peaceful conduct is gross government overreach. The "Don't sit, Don't lie" ordinance is a bureaucrat's of saying GTFO.
The sales tax collected by COS in 2014 was $136.7M. The State has given back to COS a portion of its share of our 2014 sales tax. The State allotted $163,445 for the stadium. While this is a nice sum to receive, it’s peanuts. If the stadium receives $163,445 for the next 30 years from the State, COS will receive a little less than $5M. The citizens of COS will pay $300M for the stadium and its related infrastructure. The State will pay $5M. In the face of these numbers, is it possible for City Leaders to continue the farce/lies that the stadium is mostly free to the taxpayers of COS?
The premise of the Regional Tourism Act (RTA) defies reason: State sales tax in the regional tourism zone went up without ANY help from C4C (because the projects haven't even been STARTED) and yet the State bleeds its general fund, giving credit to C4C. Yet State officials blame the failure to fund CDOT (for highways) on the lack of general fund dollars. The RTA was backed by state legislators like Keith King and other "fiscally conservative" Republicans and Democrats whose campaigns have gotten funded as a reward for shifting public taxpayer investment to private profit and corporate welfare. The RTA will likely get renewed, not because of its proven success to bring tourists, but because the recipients of the corporate welfare are happy to continue helping state legislators stay in office.
This is the same ill logic the City's apologists have and will continue to use to extract C4C and other TIF financing schemes out of the CITY'S general fund to the detriment of roads and stormwater. The City's URA board, with complicit cooperation of City Council over the years, has already stripped the general fund of tens of millions to pay corporate welfare recipients for their pet projects. To counter a public who is starting to ask questions about the wisdom of TIF, the URA Board--just this week--has agreed to pay nearly $10,000 collected as City taxes to their "go-to economist propagandists," Summit Economics, to take the narrative of how corporate welfare benefits everyone. As a reminder Summit received tens of thousands to provide ridiculous economic projections for C4C. See proposal here: http://csurbanrenewal.org/2015%20Agendas%2… The URA continues it's refusal to video record its meetings, preferring instead to operate in the shadows provided by a midday meeting most working professionals don't have the luxury attend.
...shame that Councilman Bill Murray, who prior to being elected and becoming intoxicated by the C4C koolaid spoke out against the insanity, now sits as part of the unanimous rubber stamp of the Urban Renewal Authority Board.
Bennett's sound bite is only to deceive anyone paying attention and he knows it--Council's "pinky promise" for a stadium vote specifically excludes a vote if it is funded through TIF and the URA.
More specifics here:
"CITY TAKES LEAD ROLE IN ADVANCING DOWNTOWN STADIUM" https://m.facebook.com/1583237188590349/ph…
Our military families sacrifice enough. The military is the backbone of our country but many times the sacrifice of the military families goes unnoticed. The Slide City event that was sponsored by Schriever AFB was an exceptional activity. Slide City was a great experience for our military kids and some of their non-military friends and peers. Giving the military kids a special break is something that we don’t do enough. Unless you have walked the journey of a military child you should never question these activities. Most of the military kids change schools every two years. If your child has ever changed schools, you would know that is not a small adjustment. Our military children experience many challenges such as deployment of their parents, injury and death of family members and friends, the constant relocation of schools, friends, social structures, and opportunities. It is just an honor to work with our military in serving the most important people in their lives - their children. I want to thank the Schriever Command and their personnel for getting together to provide a quality opportunity for the Military Child and including other kids in the area. Ellicott School District #22 is honored to serve the military child as is most of El Paso County. I want to thank the military families for their contributions to our country. Let's all work together to not let down their children.
Patrick Cullen, ED.D., Superintendent, Ellicott School District #22
"Government is how we take care of ourselves and as in the rest of life, you get what you pay for. The alternative to government is not some imaginary paradise, but anarchy."
1) Fundamental philosophy difference: government is NOT how we take of ourselves.
2) False dilemma fallacy: largest tax increase EVER in City history or...anarchy.
If State govt was in COS instead of Denver, COS would be booming and Denver would be riddled with potholes and asking its citizens for a $250M sales tax increase. But, looking on the bright side, COS has Pikes Peak and Denver only has a downtown stadium to brag about.
I wonder if .62% of the 1.23% - that's precisely half of the County's share of the sales tax - could be allocated to road repair. If so, all $250M would come from the County, and there would be no need to raise the City sales tax .62% for the next 5 years. I suppose the County commissioners would object. There must be some reasons why this is a bad idea. But maybe, at the very least, those dollars the County intends to contribute to building a downtown stadium could be contributed instead to road repair?
"detractors say stadiums have proved to be revenue losers in other cities" is not the only reason detractors don't want to spend local sales tax revenue - $300M including the stadium's infrastructure - to build it. The primary reasons are (1) the stadium has no purpose [such as to provide a home for a NFL team], (2) it fills no need [the World Arena provides what need exists to host sports events], (3) only a vote will determine if the citizens want a stadium, and (4) only a vote will determine if the citizens would rather spend $300M of sales tax revenue for a stadium instead of applying this revenue to roads and stormwater funding.
Council president Bennett stated "that if it is going to cost the City any money that it will go to the voters." What does Bennett mean? Specifically? Does he mean that if sales tax revenue that would have gone into the general fund is instead diverted to the URA via TIF, that this diversion of tax dollars will require a vote of the people? Or does he mean .... Perhaps councilman Bennett would clarify this point?
Liberty and curious: If you go to the grocery store and pay x dollars for yogurt, that doesn't mean you get to go to a car dealer and pay x-1 for a vehicle. In fact, you'll pay x plus a lot more, based on cost of manufacture, overhead, etc. Same with public entities.Those levies are set by a number of organizations based on cost of doing business. City property taxes here are very, very low for the level of services a largely retired population wants to pay. Those who thought they would get around property taxes with special districts are finding out that eventually they have to ante up.
Denver is no example because Denver is a different place, as are Austin, Indianapolis, etc. They are state capitols. We are not. They are booming. We are not. We are a resort/retired/military installation, stalemated ironically because every old fogey in town is paranoid about government while two of those three categories live on government checks. Again, Denver, Indianapolis and Austin are not in the same boat.
Government is how we take care of ourselves and as in the rest of life, you get what you pay for. The alternative to government is not some imaginary paradise, but anarchy.
City Leaders want a tax increase and they're going to do everything in their considerable power to get it. Last Sunday's Gazette published an "expose" on "slumlord" Bruce, a 4-page article that took up the front page and 3 full pages inside section 1, replete with "damning" photos. COS has dozens, if not hundreds, of "slumlords", but Bruce is the only one to receive the attention of the Gazette. I looked at the pictures, but skipped reading the text because . . . it's none of my business. Also, if anyone is derelict and deserves to be exposed, it's the City, which fails to enforce its laws regarding buildings that violate codes and ordinances. And did Bruce violate parole orders? That's for the courts - not me or public opinion - to determine.
What is my business is to wonder why City Leaders and the Gazette are gunning for Bruce. The answer is in plain view. Bruce is part of the tax increase opposition. He has announced he will use his own money for flyers to inform the public about why a tax increase should be voted down. Bruce intends to give the people the other side of the tax increase issue. City Leaders won't tolerate such effrontery. Not from him. The next step and ultimate goal in the anti-Bruce campaign is to incite the citizenry to vote to overturn TABOR. Even though politicians have found ways to get around the restrictions of TABOR - such as using TIF schemes - politicians would much prefer raising taxes without having to ask the citizens for permission. It amazes me that there are tax-paying citizens who believe that raising taxes to spend on crony-capitalist development projects or whatever other reason politicians want the people's money for is none of the people's business.
The road to serfdom is paved by the people abdicating their public responsibilities. We, the people, by permitting politicians and City Leaders to be our masters, get the govt we deserve.
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This is the court that has, as society evolves, decided that some aspects of our political and cultural nature are no longer justifiable--like the fact that laws restricted the equal rights of all citizens (blacks, gays, etc). Slavery has cultural heritage. It's one thing to make an attempt to accommodate folks by not scheduled an event on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. It's another entirely to completely disregard and abuse the position of the fastest growing spiritual group in the land--those that do not believe in sky fairies and don't feel the need to buy private jets for the hucksters that push those myths to the ignorant. Likewise, we shouldn't supply a line on a government issued diploma endorsing one spiritual world view over thousands of others any more than black USAFA grads should get their diploma last.
Merriam-Webster’s definition of sage: "one distinguished for wisdom." Mr. Hazlehurst may be distinguished for something, but columns like this one demonstrate that it’s not for wisdom.
Hazlehurst has fallen for the ploy and, like many hopeless liberals, foolishly blames fiscal conservatism and government accountability for all the issues that confront us. Unfortunately, many also revert to ad hominem attacks like his on Helen Collins and Doug Bruce in this column. Without TABOR in place, Hazlehurst would have begun taxing Colorado Springs citizens into oblivion from the time he served on City Council about a century ago. He’d be approving a new $350 million tax for the “City for Champions” dream he’s been co-opted into and supports every chance he gets; we’d have been paying for a convention center albatross and any other taxpayer subsidy being sought by “City Leaders” as long as he could get a dinner invitation that makes him feel important. Imagine if all it took to raise Colorado Springs taxes at any time was 5 compliant members of City Council who would sell out their mothers for a dinner invitation to the Broadmoor or "The Famous" to rub elbows with the “star power” of those who really run our City.
From a post earlier on Pam Zubeck’s article, “Road Show”: (http://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/spri…)
"Those who want to blame TABOR for the condition of our roads are misguided. What our esteemed City leaders have failed to do is to address what has led us to the current state of affairs with regard to the stormwater and the road situation--they have provided only a tax-increase band-aid. [A band-aid that represents the biggest tax increase in City history]. The individuals and entities who are financially backing the effort to pass this tax increase and the previous effort for new stormwater fees are the very same ones who have backed politicians who have allowed out-of-control and unchecked growth to occur. These developers have pushed to annex more areas and increased the lane miles and runoff many-fold, while their developments in many cases have provided a tiny fraction of the required revenue for the City to maintain the increased infrastructure, let alone the increased cost of providing public safety.
A new development adds an enormous number of lane miles inside the development. The developer “gives” the new roads to the City. The City graciously accepts the new and often poorly constructed roads with minimal standards and, after a short warranty period, the City is on the hook FOREVER to maintain the new roads. Many need resurfacing before the build-out is even complete. Why does the City continue to allow all this? Because politicians who are handpicked and financially backed by development interests to run the City government will ALWAYS support it. If they do not, their campaign coffers will dry out [and their dinner invitations will end]. There has been NO discussion of higher standards for new roads, looking at development fees or other alternatives to address the source of the problems. Why? Because the financiers of City political campaigns [and star-powered dinner invitation makers] won’t permit that kind of heresy."
Looking at a sample El Paso County property tax statement on their website, property owners are paying for schools, the library system, water conservancy, and paying towards roads & bridges in the county and roads & bridges in the city. Property owners are already paying enough of the tax burden that brings the good life to all city/county citizens.
Denver citizens pay a total sales tax of 7.62%, of which 3.62% is city sales tax and zero goes to the county. The COS sales tax totals 7.63%, of which 2.5% is city sales tax and 1.23% goes to the county, for a total of 3.73%. COS collects a bit more sales tax than Denver, and yet COS needs a 5-year tax infusion of $250M to do catch up on road work that should have been done all along. Denver citizens aren't being asked to cough up $250M for roads. What is Denver doing right that COS is doing wrong? The answer is as visionary as it's iconic. Denver has a downtown stadium and COS doesn't. COS lack of a stadium explains why Denver has smooth paved streets and COS has potholes.
The Supreme Court has noted on numerous occasions that “government policies of accommodation, acknowledgment, and support for religion are an accepted part of our political and cultural heritage.” The Court has stated that when the state… cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions…. To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups.”
But then the opinion of the Supreme Court may not be something that generates a want to discuss.
Allegheny County v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573, 657 (1989).
Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 313–14 (1952).
I can tell you that 10 years ago this topic came up with at least one senior leader at USAFA (the Dean) recognizing that it was inappropriate and dated. She, of course, did nothing about it, however, because she is a mendacious sycophant and a Born-again christian.
How does "In The Year of Our Lord..." survive scrutiny when USAFA has numerous Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, and Earth-Centered cadets? Only through fear of retribution from the Powers-That-Be. They just don't want to run the risk of raising the issue in a military hierarchy in which a single word can crush a career or divert an assignment or preclude a career field--without ever leaving a trace.
Once folks realize we are living in a post christian era, it won't seem odd to take those words off the diploma. Folks will look back and say "wow, what was that all about, and to think, people died over it."
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