Silverthorne comes out against 3 ballot issues | SummitDaily.com

Silverthorne comes out against 3 ballot issues

DAILY NEWS STAFF REPORT

SILVERTHORNE – The Silverthorne Town Council accepted a resolution in opposition to the three statewide ballot issues known as Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 during its meeting last week. Acceptance was unanimous by those present.

Submitted to the mayor and town council by Silverthorne Town Manager Kevin Batchelder, the recommendation to adopt the resolution claimed the three issues will have “serious impacts on state and local government, if approved.” The memorandum claims the ballot issues affect local government because:

• Proposition 101 reduces state income tax rates – and therefore reducing funding for schools, special districts, transportation, prisons, firefighters, police and water and sewer systems – from 4.63 percent to 4.5 percent in 2011 and to 3.5 percent gradually over time. Income reductions from lower taxes on vehicle purchases, registrations, leases and rentals as well as telecommunications services would also affect government funding.

• Amendment 60 repeals voter-approved local government authorities, extends voter rights to all owners of real property such as corporations and out-of-town owners, and taxes publicly owned enterprises to help the state back-fill lost property tax revenue for public schools operating expenses.

• Amendment 61 prohibits new state borrowing and limits local government borrowing to voter approval and limits the time period of loans, taking away the ability to fund multi-year capital improvement projects such as the recreation center and the Blue River Parkway/Town Pavilion projects. It also affects school districts, which use no-interest loans to bridge a gap in funding while waiting for property tax revenue, which could result in school closures.

“They are very detrimental to the towns and school board,” Silverthorne town councilor Ann-Marie Sandquist said. “I hope people look very carefully at what these amendments are doing.”

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Silverthorne Mayor Dave Koop added that he hopes voters can get past the “tax cut claim” because “it’s a smokescreen for a Pandora’s Box of problems later on.”