Vote YES on the 2 A Ballot Question
People have been asking me about the 2A Ballot question. Here is the text to a LTE that I sent to the MM yesterday (yet unpublished). I hope it is helpful:
Vote YES on 2A so the City can effectively deal with special circumstances. 2A does not create a slush fund. It does not eliminate the requirement for a vote of the people to raise taxes. It does protect our resources, and allows city government to function.
The City is already “de-Bruced” for city and county sales tax, grants, revenue from the State of Colorado, admission charges from the Salida Hot Springs Pool, fines and court costs imposed by Salida Municipal Court. The 2A “de-Brucing” issue on this year’s ballot has to do with special circumstances. For example, in order to pay for a multi-million dollar project. such as a state required treatment plant upgrade, we can either drastically raise water/sewer rates, or, obtain a grant offered by the State. The preferable grant option creates a special circumstance..
While the grant itself is exempt from TABOR, in order to accept it we had to remove the utility from its enterprise status (enterprise funds are exempt from TABOR). That requires water and sewer fees to be included in the TABOR formula, putting the City over the restrictive TABOR limit, and upsetting our budget.
To illustrate, if we get a grant of $1.2 million and have to return $300,000-$500,000 to the citizens because the Tabor limit, that lost revenue would have to come from another fund. It is better to de-Bruce, keep water/sewer rates stable, and maintain the integrity of the budget. Vote YES on Ballot Issue 2-A.