Fake Figures

There are two ways to describe financial numbers and costs in this ballot issue--the honest way and the politician's way.

HONEST COST---$265 per year for an average family of four

Describing the rain tax cost the honest way points out average tax costs to average taxpayers. With 600,000 people in the tax area (the county, excluding Monument, Palmer Lake, Calhan, etc.) to pay the $40 million yearly cost, the average per person is $67. Children don't pay taxes directly, so the average cost for a family of four is over $265. Some costs are direct, and some are indirect. Businesses and other groups will pass on to you their costs in higher prices or rents. All taxes are paid by people, only some of whom own businesses.

The real ballot question is: Do you want your family to pay $265 yearly in higher taxes forever?

POLITICIAN'S COST--"a penny per hour"

Politicians want to deceive you, so they state the average direct cost to homeowners only, which is only a fraction of the $40 million. They say the cost is $7.70 per month, even though it is not paid monthly, but yearly on your property tax bill. They do that to make the cost sound small. If they thought they could slip it by us, they would say 25 cents per day, or a penny an hour. They'd say,

"Surely you can afford a penny an hour so your children won't be swept away in a flood." That's the politics of fear.

If the full cost of a $40 million yearly tax were paid by homeowners only and the average is $92.40 per home per year, that means you can divide $40,000,000 by $92.40 per home to get the number of taxable homes in the county. That means we have 433,000 homes in the county, which is nonsense. The actual number is under 170,000, which shows how distorted their figures are. That ignores all apartments. It also averages large single family homes with small condos (studios or one bedrooms), which would pay very different tax amounts because of different sizes and 78 different tax rates.  Their chart of those 78 rates, listed on page 29 of their Intergovernmental Agreement, is still incomplete. For example, it does not list the multiple tax rates for multi-unit residential property.

Politicians use their figure because they think we don't care about business taxes. Most of us don't own businesses, so they conceal that cost. But we all care about our weak local economy and want more jobs available, which come from businesses, both the local and relocating kinds. Taking $40 million more yearly out of the private local economy to be spent by bureaucrats will strangle the local economy. A declining economy means less tax revenue for all governments and all goals, including drainage. Increasing tax rates decreases tax revenue, so this tax rate increase is counter-productive.

These tax pushers still haven't learned the lessons of the few tax cuts in the past 90 years, during the Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, and George W. Bush administrations. Lower taxes increase private sector spending and naturally promote non-inflationary economic growth.

The tax will first be on the January 2016 property tax bill. That means another whole year will pass before they spend the new money on drainage projects. Their hysterical claims of urgency are as fake as their numbers.

Why is our county lagging other parts of Colorado in our recovery? We raised taxes $70 million yearly in 2004 for roads and $17 million yearly in 2012 for the sheriff. The city raised taxes $6 million yearly for parks and $27 million yearly for police and fire. We raised utility rates by millions. We kept City business fees high and blocked citizen petitions to lower property taxes. We gave thousands of government employees millions in pay raises. All of that sucked money from the job-creating private sector.

Government spending is not the key to prosperity, which is why our national "economic stimulus" program is a failure. If government spending caused prosperity, the richest country in the world would be the Soviet Union, which is only a bankrupt bad dream. The private sector supports the government, not the other way around. Free markets work; socialism does not.

The city alone collects over $400 million in yearly revenue; the county alone collect over half that. Let's round the total for those two biggest players in this new layer of government. If together they spend $660 million here on 600,000 people, that is $1,100 for every man, woman, and child, NOT counting school revenue, library revenue, state and federal revenue, etc. Is your family of four getting $4,400 worth of benefits from the city and county? No. Can they trim their spending? Yes.

Can't the politicians find $40 million in that $660 million of revenue? If that revenue grows 6% next year, it would increase $40 million. If the city and county would freeze their other spending for one year, they would have added revenue of $40 million to spend on drainage issues; that is the amount they want from us this November!

All that is required is better spending priorities. Freeze pay raises, hiring, and pensions; trim the six- figure salaries; end $50 million Olympics handouts to bribe groups to stay here; let the private sector build any downtown sports arena; don't borrow and spend for more county palaces like the one on Garden of the Gods Road; etc. They are hundreds of ways to cut wasteful spending.

Government won't economize so long as they can take the easy way out--scare voters into passing a tax increase. Make them set better spending priorities instead; VOTE NO in NO-vember.