Letter to the editor: Vote no on Measure 7A in the Colorado River District | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Vote no on Measure 7A in the Colorado River District

If you live in the boundary of the Colorado River District, as nearly 400,000 West Slope residents do, your ballot will include a question — Measure 7a — to double the property tax rate for the district.

First, the ballot question, and uses of the money are completely vague. No actual projects are identified in the question, resulting in a blank check given to the directors of the district. No one knows how the money will be spent.

Second, the district makes the case that their budget has been hit hard by the coronavirus economic lockdown. We certainly appreciate the district’s financial needs in these difficult times, but their circumstance is no different than almost all property taxpayers in the district. We’ve all had to tighten our belts.

Third, the district has recently launched a public relations blitz about how they work to “keep water on the West Slope.” This is simply not true. Multiple dam and diversion projects, which will divert more West Slope water to the Front Range, are supported by the district.

Fourth, the district has voiced support for a large new dam and diversion on the White River in Rio Blanco County — to further irrigate land and provide water for fracking in the county — as one of the projects this new tax money could fund. The West Slope needs to stop damming our rivers that sustain the recreation economy in western Colorado.

Finally, the Colorado River system is already stretched to the brink. We’re now in a 20-plus year drought that’s going to require that all of Colorado — including the West Slope — use less water, not more. Vote no on 7A this year and encourage the district to refine its needs to better reflect protecting the West Slope’s environment, rivers, and economy.

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