Question 200: Slashing taxes and revenues
This measure, if enacted, would over the next five years:
completely eliminate all property taxes residents and businesses pay to the city;
reduce city sales tax revenues by 12.5 percent;
mandate that city tax revenues could increase only by the inflation rate.
This last item is the sinister kicker. Our city's population usually increases by between 5,000 and 7,500 almost every year. And for the next five years, our annual growth rate will likely accelerate to twice that, because our region's largest employer, Fort Carson, has announced plans to bring in an estimated 25,000 new soldiers and their families.
Unlike the state and city TABOR requirements, this measure only allows growth for inflation, not inflation and population. So even if, as expected, between 50,000 and 100,000 more people call Colorado Springs home a decade from now, city revenue will be capped at 2006 real-dollar levels. Our city cannot continually provide more services to more city residents without at least adjusting city revenue for increased population growth.
If this measure passes, expect small but significant reductions in public safety services (police, fire, snowplowing and ambulance) as well as huge cuts in non-essential services, such as housing for the elderly, recreational services (playgrounds, sports fields, swimming pools), maintenance on city buildings and roads ... and the list will go on and on.
It should come as no surprise that anti-tax crusader Douglas Bruce is this measure's author and chief proponent. Colorado Springs already has, by far, the lowest per capita taxes of any Front Range city. If we decimate funding for our city government, it will be the most costly decision we have ever made.
Taxes are what we invest to live in a civilized society.
Question 201: More importance on petitions
This measure contains a laundry list of requirements. Three of its major provisions mandate that the city of Colorado Springs, as well as each of its more than two dozen enterprise as well as non-enterprise zones:
can only borrow money if given explicit voter approval in a November election, and if the request to place the borrowing or bonding measure on the ballot is initiated by citizens gathering signatures;
can never borrow money for more than 10 years;
and must place at least 3 percent of its revenue into a fund to buy city capital improvements for cash.
Just like Question 200, this measure would unduly hamstring local officials. Not only would the signature-gathering provision require almost perpetual petition campaigns, but it would greatly delay the decision-making process, often eliminating the city's chance to make financially prudent investments, obtain matching grants, and purchase needed equipment.
Our city should be run like a business when seeking out the most efficient and cost-effective tools to fund capital projects. This measure would place unneeded, burdensome constraints on our government. Tuesday, Oct. 10, was the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 7 general election.
Absentee ballots can be requested in person at:
Clerk & Recorder's office, 200 S. Cascade Ave.
Chapel Hills office, at the north side of the Chapel Hills Mall
Powers office, 5650 Industrial Place, at the southeast corner of Powers Boulevard and Airport Road
People can also request an absentee ballot by calling 575-VOTE (8683) or visiting car.elpasoco.com/election. All requests for absentee ballots must be received by Oct. 31. All absentee ballots must be returned to the election office either by mail or in person by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Early voting locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3. In addition to the three offices listed above, people can also cast early votes at the following locations:
Monument Hill Church: 18725 Monument Hill Road
Fountain City Hall: 116 S. Main St.
Falcon Elementary School: 12050 Falcon Hwy.
Additional information about elections can be found on the Clerk & Recorder's Web site at
Amendment 38: Expanding petitioners' rights VOTE NO
Amendment 39: A mandatory school spending measure VOTE NO
Amendment 40: Establishing judicial term limits VOTE NO
Amendment 41: Banning lobbyists' gifts VOTE YES
Amendment 42: Increasing the minimum wage VOTE YES
Amendment 43: One-man, one-woman marriage VOTE NO
Amendment 44: Limited legalization for marijuana possession VOTE YES
Referendum E: Tax break for home-owning veterans VOTE NO
Referendum F: A recall petition fix VOTE NO
Referendum G: Deleting obsolete constitutional provisions VOTE YES
Referendum H: Limiting tax breaks for businesses hiring undocumented workers NO OPINION
Referendum I: Domestic partnership benefits VOTE YES
Referendum J: Another 65 percent school solution VOTE NO
Referendum K: Suing the feds over immigration VOTE NO
5th CD:Jay Fawcett (D)
Governor: Bill Ritter (D)
Attorney general: John Suthers (R)
State treasurer: Cary Kennedy (D)
Secretary of state:Ken Gordon (D)
Senate District 9: Keely Marrs (D)
Senate District 11: John Morse (D)
House District 14: Karen Teja (D)
House District 17: Mark Cloer (R)
House District 18: Michael Merrifield (D)
House District 19: Ken Barela (D)
House District 20: Janet Hejtmanek (D)
House District 21: Anna Lord (D)
El Paso county commissioner: Wayne Williams (R)
Downtown Development Authority VOTE YES
Cable competition from Falcon Broadband VOTE YES
Issue 3B: School District 14 (Manitou Springs area) VOTE YES
Colorado Springs Measure 200 VOTE NO
Colorado Springs Measure 201 VOTE NO