Tom Long: Vote no on ‘The Ugly 3’ |

Tom Long: Vote no on ‘The Ugly 3’

Tom Long, Silverthorne

Everyone by now has heard of the impacts of 60, 61 and 101 that, should they pass, would put some ill-thought ideas in our state constitution where they do not belong. Not many seem to be aware that the Colorado Constitution already requires a balanced budget. Below are some local impacts maybe not considered to date:

• Summit County Schools cut $1.6 million in this school year, with reduction in staff, salaries and benefits because of the recession. If 60, 61 and 101 pass, much more would have to be cut.

• Because of severe restrictions on borrowing, it would be difficult to build new schools or finance improvements. Similar restrictions apply to cities’ abilities to borrow for water, sewer and other public constructions services.

• Emergency services’ funding through 911 telecommunications fees would be frozen at 2009 levels, making it difficult for services to grow with the communities.

• Municipal water rates will go up because those departments/authorities would have to pay property taxes.

• State parks passes and hunting/fishing licenses would be more expensive because they are more reliant on public fees for their operations.

• $1.1 million for Summit County road and bridge construction would be eliminated, after vehicle taxes are virtually wiped out by Prop 101.

• Higher education is one of the first areas to be cut in budget reductions because it is discretionary (not required) in Colorado’s budget process. Colorado Mountain College would face more drastic cuts, resulting in more lost jobs and a future impact to students’ career training.

Vote no on The Ugly 3: 60, 61, and 101 if you value your community and state.

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