Wednesday, September 24, 2014

No TABOR notice on stormwater fee measure

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 3:11 PM

click to enlarge The creek under the Platte Avenue bridge after heavy rains in 2011. - COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy City of Colorado Springs
  • The creek under the Platte Avenue bridge after heavy rains in 2011.

If you're expecting to receive pro and con statements of the proposed stormwater ballot measure in the mail before you vote on Nov. 4, fuhgeddaboutit.

The proposed creation of the Pikes Peak Regional Drainage Authority and revenue to be generated to the tune of $39 million annually has been deemed outside the scope of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights notice that's required for all proposed tax increases.

The reason is that the stormwater measure is a "question" while a measure that would raise taxes is an "issue" under the law, according to El Paso County Clerk and Recorder spokesman Ryan Parsell, who explains further via email by saying:
The Stormwater question is a referred measure, and as such is a "ballot question" pursuant to C.R.S. 1-1-104(2.7). A "ballot question" is defined as a "state or local government matter involving a citizen petition or referred measure, other than a ballot issue." "Ballot issue" is defined as a state or local matter arising under TABOR or the statutes that allow a TABOR question in coordinated elections. See, C.R.S 1-1-104 (2.3). Consistent with this definition, TABOR defines the term "ballot issue" as it is to be used "[w]ithin this section."
TABOR requires pro and con statements for any ballot measure proposing to raise taxes, or keep tax money that's collected above the limits imposed by TABOR.

All that said, we're happy to bring you pro and con statements that were submitted by the Friday deadline for inclusion in the TABOR notice, which now will NOT be included.

Pro statement, as submitted by Dave Munger, head of the Council of Neighbors and Organizations:
 

Con statement, as submitted by Douglas Bruce:

As for another county measure, 1A, which asks permission to retain tax money collected in excess of TABOR caps, here's the pro statement, as written by Susan Davies, who works for the Trails and Open Space Coalition:

Here's Bruce's statement opposing 1A:


The statements for and against 1A will be included in the TABOR notice.

We've asked for a comment from Bruce. If and when we hear back from him, we'll update.

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