City of Colorado Springs / City Clerk / City Elections / Archived Elections / 2009, November 3 / 2009-11 TABOR Notice

TABOR Notice - November 3, 2009 Coordinated Election

ELECTION DATE:   NOVEMBER 3, 2009 - SPECIAL COORDINATED ELECTION
ELECTION HOURS:   7:00 A.M. TO 7:00 P.M.

REVISED

NOTICE OF ELECTION
TO INCREASE TAXES ON A
REFERRED MEASURE

ISSUE 2C

Ballot Title and Text: "SHALL CITY TAXES BE INCREASED $46,000,000 ANNUALLY BY INCREASING 2009 GENERAL PROPERTY TAX 6.00 MILLS, 1.00 ADDITIONAL MILL PER YEAR FOR FOUR YEARS, CONTINUING THEREAFTER, CONSTITUTING VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE?"

FISCAL YEAR SPENDING INFORMATION:

Year Fiscal Year Spending (FYS) Federal Funds
2005 Actual   $ 215,483,762   $ 25,302,695
2006 Actual   $ 251,505,244   $ 53,557,162
2007 Actual   $ 231,569,394   $ 33,829,626
2008 Actual   $ 221,627,126   $ 32,150,198
2009 Estimate   $ 212,165,661   $ 32,000,000

Overall dollar change to FYS (2005-2009) ($ 3,318,101)
Overall percentage change to FYS (2005-2009)   -1.54%
Overall dollar change to FYS plus federal funds (2005-2009) $ 3,379,204
Overall percentage change to FYS plus federal funds (2005-2009)   1.40%
     
Estimated annual dollar amount of new tax increase $  27,600,000
Estimated FYS without tax increase $ 212,165,661

Summary of written comments for 2C:

  • Colorado Springs is facing a crisis. The projected budget shortfall in 2010 is $25.4 million which will include significant cuts in all City departments including Fire and Police, parks, transit, and street maintenance.
  • 2C is a measure designed to "stop the bleeding" rather than try to solve all problems, with the intent to keep City departments at 2009 funding levels.
  • Without this initiative, Colorado Springs will see a significant decline in our quality of life. Strong fire and police departments and well-maintained parks and streets protect property values and ensure Colorado Springs remains a great city for families; strong property values are directly related to the city's ability to keep neighborhoods safe, maintain parks and streets, keep recreation centers open and our transit system moving. Pass 2C to ensure Colorado Springs continues to be a place citizens can safely raise a family.
  • The ballot initiative is for 10 mills over five years, six mills in year one, and one additional mill each of the next four years. The cost the first year will be $126, less than $2.50 a week for the owner of an average-priced home of $262,000. At the end of five years, the average homeowner will pay $210 a year or $4 a week. This modest increase will allow the city to continue to fund city services at the 2009 level while council and staff work on the recommendations of the Sustainability Funding Committee to provide a long term solution.
  • Even when 2C is fully implemented in 2014, we will continue to have one of the lowest tax burdens per capita when compared to other similar size cities on the Front Range, passing this increase will not change that.
  • Understanding the contribution the business community makes to this city, this initiative removes the Business Personal Property Tax, saving business $2.2 million per year.
  • The Colorado Springs Fire and Police departments have already endured significant cuts over the past two years. The Fire Department filled voids by eliminating 24-hour staffing of the HAZMAT unit. Police filled voids in street patrols by eliminating special crime units. As a result, both agencies' ability to handle serious incidents has been severely diminished, and service you expect is not there.
  • Should this increase fail, the resulting service cuts will be deep and drastic. The cuts will include laying off over 50 frontline Fire Fighters and Police. Other city departments will suffer; the projected cuts include closing five community centers: Hillside, Meadows Park, Otis Park, Deerfield Hills, West Center; all 7 city pools; minimal maintenance for 128 neighborhood parks, possible closure of Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site and Pioneers Museum, and the elimination of general fund support for Mountain Metro Transit.
  • This small increase in property taxes will help balance the city's revenue between sales and property taxes reducing our over dependence on sales taxes. Our quality of life and public safety depends on the passage of Issue 2C.
  • Vote yes on 2C.

Summary of written comments against 2C:

  • Issue 2C asks voters for $46 million yearly. That's $460 a year in direct and indirect taxes on an average family of four. Are they kidding? Vote no.
  • Do they think the economic depression is over and we're now all rich? That we've forgotten their $53+ million headquarters giveaway in August? Their $4 million corporate handout in May? Millions in bonuses and boondoggles? Hundreds of millions in unsold assets? Their phony budget "cuts," like the $9+ million in planned city pay raises? Vote "no" in November.
  • The council refuses to economize the way citizens have. The council demands a bigger share of a shrinking pie. They think they can spend our money better than we can. Issue 2C reflects sheer arrogance.
  • Page 7 of the city's 2009 Budget in Brief reports their true budget (excluding enterprises) is now $405 million. That's $1,000 for every man, woman, and child--$4,000 per average family of four. That is almost twice what they claim they have now ("general fund"). They insist $405 million is still "not enough".
  • They want a 234% property tax increase. 234%. To last forever.
  • Their hypocrisy is laughable.
  • A councilman voted for this 234% tax increase ballot issue because he "loves" this city. He announced a week later that he is moving next month to Tennessee, which has lower taxes. He won't be paying this tax.
  • This money grab will hurt senior citizens and others on fixed incomes. It will burden struggling small businesses. It will be a hardship on all families. It will kill jobs and ruin our economic recovery. Does the council care? No.
  • Issue 2C has no specifics on where the taxes will go. Why? Remember their 2001 promise that issue B-4 would add $27 million to current spending on police and fire, "which we will never cut?" They lied. Remember their 2004 promise that the $70 million RTA tax would add $7 million to current bus spending, "which we will never cut?" They lied, again. Their pitch: "Forget our broken promises. Give us $46 million more yearly for ... whatever."
  • Another version: "Give us this tax increase, and we promise to stop breaking those promises we made to get you to vote for those prior tax increases." Yet the council still makes budget cut threats they made before. Will their scare tactics work again? Are we that gullible?
  • Vote "no" on issue 2C. No more blank checks.

Designated Election Official:

Kathryn M. Young, CMC/CERA
City Clerk
30 South Nevada Avenue, Ste. 101
P. O. Box 1575, MC 110
Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1575
Telephone: (719) 385-5901