Letter to the editor: Summit Board of County Commissioners needs transparency | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Summit Board of County Commissioners needs transparency

Ken Gansmann

We should all thank Kathy Sullivan, Chris Dorton and Robert Johnson for their letters to the Summit Daily News on Aug. 18. They help enlighten us and open our eyes to the lack of transparency with our Summit Board of County Commissioners.

In 2018, the voters approved an the 1A omnibus tax for the board to spend about $7.8 million a year for 10 years on a variety of “feel good” issues. Many of us would probably have voted for two of these issues. However, we were forced to vote for all or nothing. Now the board and county are faced with a $5.5 million per year deficit caused by COVID-19-related issues, and this deficit will not go away quickly. Taxpayers feel the board should have to publish its budget every year, so we can see how our tax money is being spent. For instance, the board gave $500,000 to the charity Family & Intercultural Resource Center this year.

It seems our voters always vote for things they think others will pay for since they think second-home owners will be footing the cost. We are now seeing an increase in permanent residents here in Summit County who will be paying increased real estate taxes, along with the rest of us permanent residents, for those wants. Now the board wants to bypass Colorado’s Constitution (deceptively named Ballot to Stabilize County Services) and collect extra taxes to pay for the $5.5 million deficit each year. Remember, once the camel’s nose is under the tent, those tax grabs will not go away.

Renters need to stop and think through this. Every time your landlord sees an increase in their taxes, they need to recover these in the form of higher rents.

Think seriously before you vote on the Ballot to Stabilize County Services in November. If approved, it will last forever.

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