Summit Daily letters: Local Leaders Agree: Vote No on Amendment 74
October 18, 2018
Local leaders agree: Vote no on Amendment 74
The 2018 ballot is longer than most, so voters have to do more research than usual in this election cycle. However, Summit County's leaders unanimously agree that one of the easiest choices to make in 2018 is voting no on Colorado Amendment 74.
Make no mistake: This measure is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It claims to protect private property rights. But in reality, Amendment 74 would cripple our local and state governments by siphoning your tax dollars away from community programs and services, toward corporate interests that are funding the campaign.
Colorado property owners already have robust protections in place that safeguard their rights. Amendment 74 would open the door to runaway development that would erode the character of our neighborhoods, the safety of our buildings and the integrity of our public health protections. Our local community would lose control over our own destiny, ceding it to entities that resent our public health, zoning and safety regulations. This measure would also spur a litigation free-for-all that would mire our local governments in a bottomless pit of legal bills, severely compromising our ability to serve the public.
Amendment 74 is opposed by a broad, statewide, bipartisan coalition of public- and private-sector organizations, including the Colorado Association of Ski Towns, Club 20, Colorado Association of Home Builders, Colorado Association of Realtors, Conservation Colorado, Western Resource Advocates and many more. More than 120 elected officials on both sides of the aisle, and upwards of 80 cities and counties, have come out against Amendment 74. And the list is growing every day.
We're asking Summit County citizens to join us in standing up to out-of-state special interests and standing up for our community by voting no on Amendment 74.
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Chair, Board of Summit County Commissioners
Mayor of Blue River
Mayor of Breckenridge
Mayor of Dillon
Mayor of Frisco
Mayor of Silverthorne
Opposing Amendment 74 for the health of our rivers
We oppose Amendment 74 and respectfully request that you vote "no" on this ballot measure in November. If Amendment 74 passes, it will obstruct our ability to make local decisions, while reducing government services and increasing taxes. Many of the tools we use to protect our local rivers and streams will be at risk if this amendment passes.
Under the current Colorado Constitution, a property owner has the right to seek compensation from state or local governments for any property taken. Amendment 74 expands this well-established concept by requiring the government — i.e., the taxpayers — to compensate private property owners if a state or local government law or regulation "reduces" the "fair market value" of their property.
While this language may appear harmless, Amendment 74 would severely limit local governments from making regulatory or land use decisions without taxpayers bearing the burden of significant costs from individual property owners suing in response to those decisions. In such an environment, government would have difficulty accomplishing even its most basic functions.
To highlight one area of concern, Amendment 74 could threaten our community's ability to conserve water for the health of our streams and rivers. Just this year, Summit County and its municipalities, High Country Conservation Center, and many others worked together to develop the Blue River Water Efficiency Plan. The plan recommends developing a tiered rate structure for water usage to encourage water conservation, and recommends municipalities and the county look at revisions to the land use code, to ensure new development does not damage water quality and is as water efficient as possible.
If Amendment 74 passes, developers could claim that these conservation requirements reduce the fair market value of their property. Because the language of Amendment 74 is so broad, we do not know how such claims would be resolved — except that the answer may take years and significant taxpayer investment as the case winds through court.
Environmental protection may be just one casualty of Amendment 74. Every local decision which focuses on zoning, land use, liquor, marijuana and other forms of licensing, ordinance enforcement to protect public safety, affordable housing initiatives, prohibitions of undesirable uses such as an adult entertainment business in a neighborhood, or right to farm ordinances all will be subject to attack.
We do not want to see our collective work to improve water quality and conserve water come to a halt. We should be able to do this work, and all the important work of local governments to protect the health and safety of citizens, without the constant threat of costly litigation that undermines the quality of life and economic health of our communities. This amendment has far too many unintended consequences.
We respectfully ask you to vote "No" on Amendment 74.
Summit County Commissioner
Frisco Town Council member
Julie McCluskie for HD 61
As a working local Summit County mom, I have always believed that there are two reasons someone like me would choose to vote for a particular candidate, in this case Julie McCluskie. The first reason is that she will fight for all of the issues I care about; that I believe our community needs. She believes in protecting our Summit County way of life, protecting our environment and making sure that those of us who work here can live here. She believes that every child deserves the very best education we can possibly provide, and she believes that health insurance is a right and not a privilege. She believes that a strong economy, strong businesses and strong families are the core of a great community.
The second, and perhaps even more important reason I will vote for Julie is because in this deeply difficult and fractured time, I believe we need leaders who will listen, bring people together and fight with courage and grace. I know that there is absolutely no one who is better suited to represent our community in Denver, because those are the attributes that make Julie who she is. She is a strong leader, someone who will fight for us, and she leads not by creating fear and tearing people apart, but rather by bringing different perspectives together to find solutions that will truly make all of our lives better. It has been my privilege and honor to work side by side with Julie for almost a decade. There's no one I trust more to fight for us, and there's no one I believe will have more of an impact than Julie McCluskie. I hope you will all join me in voting for Julie McCluskie for Colorado House District 61.
Measure 1A = $88 million
At first, I thought it was a typo. So, I read through Measure 1A again. No, I was right the first time. The leaders of our small Summit County want to raise property taxes by a staggering $88 million to fund an assortment of already existing programs over the next 10 years. That in turn frees up the existing budget allocations to be blown on whatever. It gets worse. The way Measure 1A is drafted, your taxes will increase each year if the value of your house, apartment building or business goes up. $88 million is just a start, much more will be extracted from your wallet over time. Right now, we have a great local economy; one that is generating record property and sales tax revenues that keep our County going, and then some. So, who was it exactly that thought that now is the perfect time to stack a giant new tax increase on top of all homes, rentals and businesses? This looks like one of those proposals that draw support only from a small group that hope to get a slice of the $88 million in their own pocket. Everyone else gets the bill, and it's a big one. Sometimes I wish our local politicians understood the challenges of managing a family budget. They sheepishly tell us: 'No reason to be concerned, it's only a tiny, tiny bit spread over a long time, don't worry, be happy.' That's wrong, the reality is an $88,000,000.00+ tax increase!
Vote 'yes' on 1A
I do not have any children, but people in my community do.
I do not live near Buffalo Mountain or Peak 2, but people in my community do.
I do not struggle with mental health issues, but people in my community do.
While the issues addressed in 1A have not impacted me personally — not yet, anyway — I am a member of this community, and I care about the people who live here. I will be voting yes on 1A.
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