Liberty for COS 
Member since Mar 28, 2015

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Re: “Regional Building, Nor'wood postpone deal


3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Liberty for COS on 09/21/2016 at 9:37 PM

Re: “Republicans bury hospital fee bill

When the State legislature voted to massively expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the provision making the State eligible for federal grants required the state to collect an additional tax (that's how it was worded in the ACA). The Federal grants aren't permanent and the sustainability of the program is a whole other issue, but the taxes on the those in Colorado who are sick and infirm and their insurance companies are permanent.

A litany of “goodies” was offered up to cover the stench of the excluding the unaccountable tax increase masked as a "fee": education, jobs programs, etc, etc. Fees (taxes) go up by hundreds of millions per year and if we play a shell game and hide the money as a "government enterprise," we’ll be allowed to add more money for more government. The premise undermines TABOR in exactly the same way that the Colorado Bridge Enterprise did years ago that raised everybody's vehicle registration taxes and exempted the massive increase from TABOR revenue limits.

Bottom line: these Senators followed the will of the citizens who sent them to Denver to uphold the Colorado Constitution, including Article X, Section 20, The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, a Constitutional Amendment ratified by the citizens of Colorado. Despite the big government plans over what to do with the “extra money” that wouldn't be subject to inconvenient TABOR refunds, and what the big government Attorney General opined, the simple fact is that the collection of hospital provider fees (HPF) expands government by taxing citizens and these legislators recognized the HPF for what they are: a tax that expands government and it should be counted as such.

The long line of big government supporters for the shell game inherent in the bill included many of the same who will benefit: hospitals, and big business who will benefit from the government programs that will be allowed to grow if the massive hospital tax gets to be hidden from the purview of TABOR. No surprises.

Posted by Liberty for COS on 05/12/2016 at 7:34 PM

Re: “Terms of St. Francis Hospital sale included donations to a nonprofit foundation

From a post from last September on "Liberty for COS" (…

"Here’s a thinking person’s explanation of what really happened: Jenkins somehow gets the property for $50,000. Remarkably the property is assessed at that purchase price (Jenkins donated $17,500 to County Treasurer Lowderman's campaign who is in charge of assessments see link:…). Now, as Jenkins develops the property, the value will obviously go up (again his pal, Lowderman is in charge of assessments) and Jenkins will have to pay more taxes, right? He’ll pay more taxes, but because his new acquisitions have been included in the revised boundaries of the DDA, any growth of tax revenue above the baseline goes to the DDA (because of the TIF that’s in place) and now his property is a potential and likely beneficiary of the DDA dollars. Jenkins--completely coincidentally--also happens to serve on the DDA board that decides where the money goes. So his higher taxes will not benefit the City, they will benefit himself. When normal citizens’ taxes go up, they benefit the City, when friends of Council’s taxes go up—they go up to benefit themselves!"

Since the time of this post, the DDA has in fact awarded the lion's share of the DDA's TIF revenue to Jenkins' Penrose development. Is anyone shocked?

17 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Liberty for COS on 05/04/2016 at 4:06 PM

Re: “Salvaging our shared dignity after the land swap

John Hazlehurst: You are blinded by your desire to continue being invited to lunches at the Broadmoor and the Garden of the Gods Club.

There is plenty of money collected as City sales and property taxes to bring the Parks budget back where it needs to be. Unfortunately, $10 million per year of those City sales and property taxes get diverted to the Urban Renewal Authority. That number will grow with two recently approved URAs: Gold Hill Mesa Commercial URA ($50 million over the next 25 years) and South Nevada URA ($35 million over the next 25 years). Yet another URA will soon also be blindly approved in Southwest Downtown to take City-collected sales and property tax to fund stadium and museum improvements for 25 years—that one would be $130 million as proposed in the City for Champions financial plan.

The TOPS special sales tax was also approved for City parks maintenance in 2013, but was done so with no “maintenance of effort” required on behalf of the City so park lovers who approved the change were duped as general fund commitments to parks declined and were supplanted with an influx of TOPS money.

The hosts of those lunches that have caused John Hazlehurst’s blindness are also bankrupting our City. Hazlehurst himself said the 8.25% is already an uncomfortably high sales tax…but he’s okay hiding yet higher taxes in a stormwater “fee” and likely much higher Utility rates once his lunch friends get a hold of Utilities governance? Sustainable funding will come once we stop giving away City taxes for pet projects, lunch hosts and campaign financiers for City elections.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Liberty for COS on 04/20/2016 at 9:49 AM

Re: “UPDATE: Parks Board approves land swap

So Mayor John Suthers, assisted in his campaign with cash and in-kind donations from the Broadmoor, is making phone calls in an attempt to influence a volunteer board on behalf of his political donors. Suthers received a large cash donation from both the Broadmoor President Jack Damioli and the Broadmoor CEO Stephen Bartolin as well as over $4,300 in in-kind donations from the Broadmoor.

How much worse can the cronyism and "legal" corruption get in Colorado Springs?

I guess one shouldn't ask that question...surely it will get worse.

Mr. Johnson should be applauded for his transparency. Why haven't any of the other Parks Board members spoken out? It is likely that Johnson has been chastised by council members and his fellow board members for outing the mayor's arm twisting. After all--City government is in a "new era" of not asking questions and going along to get along.

38 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Liberty for COS on 04/14/2016 at 3:42 PM

Re: “Pothole cone zones coming soon

Also--Gaylord Smith, the owner of AA Construction, made a $1000 donation to the Suthers mayoral campaign. At the time of that donation, he reported as "retired." For the 2C campaign to which he donated $2,000, he identified himself as the owner of AA Construction.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Liberty for COS on 04/06/2016 at 11:34 AM

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