2C is a nightmare. It's ANOTHER tax increase without accountability or end. All this fear-mongering by City-Counsel is just another political power-play. We all are feeling the pinch of the collapsing economy. We all have to tighten our belts; why not city counsel? Will this affect city jobs? Of course! But this city has lived on so-much bloat for far too many years... This isn't about liking Bruce or not. This is about keeping our government from extorting us with mafia protection rackets. Don't be fooled, they have quite enough already.
It's high time the people of this city see Doug Bruce for the moron he is and send him the message that we've had enough of his attempts to tear down Colorado Springs to the point that the slums he owns and rents out to unsuspecting families look appealing. He came from California and all but drove the city where his antics were allowed into bankruptcy. It's happening here too folks! Granted, I'm not impressed with our city council...more like a ship of fools...but they can only use what we as voters and citizens give them to work with. Garbage in, garbage out. We as citizens of Colorado Springs need to sit up and take notice. It's time to invest in your community! We've said NO for too long now. Now it's time to say YES to 2C and NO to the moron, Doug Bruce, who's hellbent on destroying our city.
This is all BS. I am a city employee and am on the chopping block to be cut. I don't think the citizens of this city realize how close we are to breaking this city apart. Yes, it was absolutely STUPID for city council to spend more than $30M on the USOC project that is proving to be a dud anyway. I hardly think they are a deciding factor behind people visiting the city or keeping people here for that matter. If they wanted to leave, then I believe it would have been their loss, not ours. They will eventually break the contract when they find a good enough loophole (like the COP deal that we failed as a city to obligate), because they never wanted to really stay here to begin with, they wanted to relocate. In the end a city needs taxes to run properly and efficiently and if 2C does not pass, it is my personal feelings that this city will have a difficult road ahead of them to bounce back, if they ever will. We are looking at public safety and other city jobs that total over 150 jobs. That is a hard number to bounce back from, for a city of ANY size. Everyone is looking at themselves and being selfish in this difficult time, but if we want to just watch this city go to crap, then, by all means, don't pass 2C, because with public safety gone and various other important city jobs and quality of life and welfare things disappearing, we will be giving Doug Bruce what he wants--a broken down city that is just a thing in the past. Yes, the city council members and our mayor have spent ridiculous amounts of money on useless things that we as citizens would have disagreed upon, yet they keep getting voted back into office and the people complaining never get their voices heard in the townhall meetings that are held (either that or they just ignore us). I for one can keep complaining and voicing my opinion, because I don't vote for them, I vote for change and I frequent the townhall meetings when I can. Please, reconsider and pass 2C so that this city doesn't fall apart, for I like this city and would hate to see it head down the road it's heading now. The bottom line in the end is that 150-200 more jobless people in a city this size will only add and contribute to our city's downfall.
I consider myself liberal to the point of socialism, but I am reluctant to give this city council access to more money. This group mismanaged finances during good times, panders to the real estate community, and has developed a hostile relationship with us citizens. I would be open to the tax increase if it came with a group resignation.
LoL Springs DID annex east of POWERS - are you all short of oxygen in W park?
its BS, the city WASTES money
while I despise Bruce and Tabor,
a TAX INCREASE IS NOT NEEDED!
Typical, typical "ME, ME, ME." I wish you and your friends would realize that in a democratic society, there is a societal obligation. If everyone thought like you did, then we would lose the ability to spread the burden (i.e., taxes) and charge everyone "fees for service." Do you want a toll booth in your neighborhood? Mike
The Independant used to stand for Independant thinking, but anymore they seem to have been become a little less free thinking and irresponsible in its journalism. There are more people that do not own property than do own property in this city, so why should those that have worked hard and struggeled for years to buy their own home be punished and have to foot the bill for everyone else that moves here who do not own their own home. There is a simple resolution for everyone to share in this tax burden ... Food Tax. There has been a new influx of people within just the last few years thanks to Bush moving about 40k troops and their familes to the Springs and the inflow from post Katrina and the inflow of those fleeing California and other over populated cities. That inflow means a lot of tax revenue that just came in, so someone in this city is lying. The city is also making new tax revenues from the several increases that have been imposed on utilities and extra revenue from the imposed storm water tax. So somewhere in this city there is a lot misspending going on. We all know how the city's budge works, every year they have to make sure not to come under budget, and even go over budget, so that they can ask for a bigger budget the next year. It's time for this city government to clean up its act and quit throwing away our money on unessesary projects like a ring fountain that doesn't work, art work in the park and on the streets, life gaurds for a water fountain that doesn't need life gaurds, going over budget on every street project. If they want all these extras that make our city pretty, then all of it departments need to start working to come in under budget every year. The fact is, is that the caretakers of this city have mis-spent the money to run it and now they want the property owners to foot the bill for it. It's time for the city to pull out the books and make an account to the CS citizens for every dime they are spending. Perhaps it's time this city has a huge turn over of it's employees that are in charge of maintaining its budgets. ..... Dale
The city isn't going to be able to save 20+ million dollars out of firing city employees only. Even if they could do we really need more unemployed people in the springs competeing with Greg to get a job?
Time to go down to the McDonalds or Wal-mart and start making a few bucks so you can pay your property taxes. That is if you want to keep you house. Also why the hell would you advicate voting for Doug Bruces measure, that guy wants to turn Colorado springs back into dirt roads and anarchy so he doesn't catch flack over his lousy rental properties. He's also got something of a personal vendetta against City Gov, its all about him not whats best for the springs.
I used to live in the Springs but now I live in Woodland Park so it matters little to me, but it seems the Gazette classified section has 1 page of jobs per 12 pages of foreclosures (just a guestimate, but it sure seems that way). So right now a lot of people are having a hard time staying in their homes anyway you look at it. Sure you can say "well.. property tax payment is part of most mortgages and a lot of people don't even see the cost". Not seeing the cost is part of what got us into the pickle our country is in.
Taxing banks that hold foreclosed properties is a serious part of our economic problems right now, as was people taking on more debt than they could handle.
Colorado Springs taxes have become an issue, in large part, due to so many tax bases moving. Woodland Park (Teller County) and Falcon have their own large "Big Box" stores now. Readers of the Indy might not like it but Wal-Mart makes a sizeable contribution to the public coffers. So Teller County and the Falcon area are bleeding the city of taxes through people who work, but don't live, in Colorado Springs. If the Springs could annex land east of Powers they would easily fix their tax problem, but I bet El Paso County would have something to say about that.
Short of annexation the solution has to include both limiting government spending (the people just don't have the money) AND additional taxes, no real choice there. Whatever the people can support will decide what services you'll keep.
But it doesn't have to be that way, there are other sources of revenue besides the property owner. Goverment needs to be creative, but it will not, Government will save it's own job and do what has been done before.
In business, as a business grows older, it attains unneeded administrative baggage. I believe the same occurs in government. Before you lay-off police and fire you should look at what jobs are REALLY important.
Dear Independent and Gazette:
While those commenting on your editorials that are opposed to a property-tax hike are aiming at the data, my comment will be a bit more “selfish”.
My last full-time job ended in September of 2006. Since then, I don’t think I’ve generated more than $2000 and have lived on credit cards. There is a tax-lien against the house in which not only am I domiciled, but also hold equity title. In short, I really cannot afford any more taxes.
As for the data and the arguments for and against, I’m exact opposite of your recommendations. I’m one who gathered signers for the city petition, for free I might add. This situation has been a long-time coming, and those “elected” to prepare for it, did not.
There have been many that sounded the alarm, none the least of which was Tony Carpenter. However, the political machine that runs El Paso County, ergo, also Colorado Springs, made sure that he was unable to be in any position of benefit at a time when his knowledge could be the most useful.
Now the voters of this city are in a position that they have been before. They asked to vote for a tax increase that gets paid by only certain people: Equity titled property holders.
As stated before, I don’t have it; therefore, won’t pay it.
I encourage all voters to vote No; then vote Yes!
Thanks for reading.
Just because you can hire somebody "cheaper" does not mean you should recieve a pay cut. Sure my boss could hire someone to replace me and pay them less, but he would be losing my specific skills, knowledge, and experience in my job. That is worth something to him. Are you seriously advocating a race to the bottom for the city?
This is a small tax increase and the Gazette and the Indy both make good points about it. You spend more on coffee over the course of a year than you would on this tax increase. Property taxes will still be lower than a good chunk of the state, and hopefully this leads us towards making the city nice again. The residents need to take responsiblily for the city they live in, when we voted in TABOR we said "Ok city, we are better at figuring out what should be paid for in our city than you are" and now we have to take this seriously and do what needs to be done.
Same old government scare tactics and solutions, higher tax burden solves all! Why cut police, fire and parks? Why do city and county employees have a better pay and benefit package than the private sector that funds them?
Let’s cut benefits and payroll and keep the same services, that’s what happens at our work places. Why can’t government employees share the pain, most of us have no pensions and we pay much higher insurance costs and co pays. There are thousands of people ready to fill city, county, state and federal government positions at 70% of the current compensation packages, that would allow for the same level of services and solve the budget problem, wouldn’t it?
Mr. Weiss and Mr. Pope, the per capita budget figures in your editorial charts comparing Colorado Springs with cities such as Pueblo and Fort Collins are questionable. According to the charts, Pueblo and Fort Collins each generate 50 percent more sales tax per capita than does the Springs. And yet the city sales taxes in Colorado Springs and Pueblo are the same: 3.5 percent. In Fort Collins the city sales tax is only 3 percent. I cannot believe that the income or spending habits are so different in these cities. I can only conclude that the tax figures for the Springs do not include the specific taxes that the Springs residents have voted in for public safety, transportation, and open space. Is that what happened?
I do not mind taxes.
However, whenever there is a project there is BAD corruption, BAD managment, or both.
For example, a few years back, when Colorado Spring's I-25 widening project was to begin, a contract of $20,000 to $25,000 was awarded to a company to name the project. This sounds like some form of back door means to pay off someone. Why do we need to pay someone to name a project?
Many voters were LIVID!
This and many other reasons are why people ( many are not tea baggers, just independents, Democrats, and so on ) are NOT willing to terminate
Tabor. I understand the need for taxes. It is just the rampant problems of bad management and corruption that upsets lots of people.
Without the tax measure on the next ballot the city will lose all the bus routes it pays for (drivers are not city employees; RTA pays for about half the route hours so some service will survive), nearly all parks and recreation services (including community centers). Of the 1,800 city employees, 1,200 are providing public safety roles.
Fewer than 100 will be layed off from public safety without new taxes whereas hundreds more will be fired from other service departments.
Streets will be repaired from PPRTA funds if the city can afford to retain engineers and project managers to work with PPRTA for the projects voters approved in 2004.
I learned this from attending public meetings and the city website. Take time to be informed about the downside of TABOR and take civic action.
What people don't understand too often about this...ahem, "fearalwaysworks"... is that police, fire and roads are the largest and/or most complained about funds, as well as the funds that the public knows the most about. Unfortunately, the public doesn't know enough about the other funds, which brings up another weak point of TABOR; most people don't know enough about the taxes they're voting on to make an educated decision.
P.S. Check your spelling 'fearalwaysworks."
I am enjoying reading your articles about different matters that really help me to gain ideas. Thank you for sharing your insights! I will avidly wait for your next comment entries.
Is it possible that taxpayer money is spent elsewhere. The largest department in the state of Colorado (at least in terms of employees) is human services. Those are the people who run veterans nursing homes, mental hospitals, youth corrections, make sure foster care centers are running smoothly (ie not abusing orphans)... And just Tuesday they announced that they are closing two areas of Ft. Logan mental hospital - the child care and geriatric divisions. Basically the people who look after kids and old people who can't function in society and need so much care that they can't just be in a nursing home or foster home (because they do things like beat people up) are about to be fired. Just because people don't think about those services don't mean they aren't valuable, unless you like crazy old folks and kids out on the streets.
Based on this article you would think the only items the city spends money on are police, fire & roads. For some reason those are the only buget measures ever mentioned when taxes are trying to be raised.
Is it possible that money is spent else where that isn't needed? Is it possible the city could outsource services that are not required in the city charter? Nope guess not. First cut is always fire police & firemen so we can scare the public into thinking there are no other options and your home will burn down and your daughters will be rapped if you don't say yes.
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