Letter to the editor: Election booklet shows spending far outpacing inflation
My notice of “Coordinated Election” appeared in my mailbox yesterday. I found it very enlightening. We are being asked to vote on four ballot issues:
- 1A: tax on tobacco and e-cigarettes
- 1B: mill levy extension for trail and open space
- 1C: bond issue to pay for Peak 7 paving
- 4A: extension of a current tax for full-day kindergarten approved in 2007
1A exempts itself from TABOR permanently. It also includes the ominous words “improvement of the public health and welfare including, but not limited to the following.” In other words, they can spend it on whatever they wish contrary to what the ballot issue indicates, which sounds appealing.
1B and 4A start with the tantalizing phrase “without increasing current tax rates.” Both issues exempt them from TABOR permanently. 4A goes on to state, “deposited in the General Fund and used for educational purposes including but not limited to the following.” In other words, the school district can spend it on whatever they wish contrary to what the ballot issue indicates which sounds appealing.
Here are some facts straight out of the Coordinated Election notice booklet:
- Between 2015-16 and 2019-20 fiscal year spending by the school district increased 24%.
- Between 2015-19 (a five-year period), fiscal spending by the county increased 32.4%.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the increase in consumer prices from 2015 to 2019 has been 8.24%.
The bottom line is the county has spent 24.16% above inflation for the past five years.
The school board has only spent 15.76% above inflation over the same five years.
If only we taxpayers had been as fortunate.
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