Buck: Vote ‘no’ on Breckenridge transit tax hike (letter)
Does Breckenridge need improved parking and transit? Absolutely! Does it need additional taxes to accomplish that goal? Absolutely not!
First, let’s look at some of the reasons we have a parking shortfall. For decades, the town has been allowing the development of major complexes with inadequate parking, resulting in a spillover into town streets and parking lots. Even today, the Marriot Residence Inn is being built in Breckenridge with only 8 parking spaces for every 10 units. Meanwhile, the town has been taking away spots with various “development” activities. The town has created this parking crisis, and now they want you to pay a tax for their mistakes.
We hear that, without a “yes” vote on 2A, we won’t have the money to address our parking and transportation needs. The 2015 town budget has revenues of $54.6 million and spending of nearly $60 million (excluding transfers).
The issue isn’t lack of money, the issue is lack of priorities. Along with public safety and public works, parking and transportation should have first dibs on these dollars — not last. Instead, the town spends its money on many unessential programs and at least one program that was voted down in public referendum. It spends millions on buildings and infrastructure that sit idle the majority of the time. Asking now for addition taxes to fund parking is the equivalent of taking a six-month vacation, buying luxury automobiles and a second home and then forcing your spouse to take a second job because you can’t afford the groceries.
Stop this sleight of hand. Make the town address the essentials first. Require every new development to provide adequate parking. Fund public parking and transportation with the first dollars in, and, if need be, let the people vote (and respect their vote) on whether they want higher taxes to fund the fluff.
Vote “no” on 2A.
Eric C. Buck
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