Lathen Lies

from the Gazette guest column by County Commissioner Amy Lathen, September 7, 2014

Amy Lathen is so vain and out of touch she has already announced she is running for Mayor of Colorado Springs. Her campaign slogan should be,
"Vote for Amy; she raised your taxes $40 million yearly forever."


"....the fact is that the law allows El Paso County, or any of our municipalities, to impose a fee for stormwater management without a vote of the people."

Note the ballot issue is "advisory," which means it is not binding. The majority of voters can vote "NO" and the tax-and-spend crowd can impose the $40 million yearly rain tax (forever) anyway! Her only proof that this is a fee, not a tax, is that she calls it a fee. (It will be put on your property TAX bill.)


"...the task force believes that the fee must be fixed..."

The county has already published there will be 78 different charges! How "fixed" is that? Maybe by "fixed," she meant "rigged."


"...administrative costs must be capped at 1 percent..."

Property tax collection costs alone are 1.5% by state law. Ask our assessor and next treasurer, Mark Lowderman.


"....maintenance and capital resources were insufficient..."

Total annual city revenue is over $400 million; county revenue is well over half that. Is $660 million your idea of insufficient revenue? Government never has enough of your money!


"...the capital portion must be sunsetted ..."

That's only 55% of tax revenue. The other 45% is for miscellaneous, including administration. That goes on FOREVER! So barely half the tax goes to drainage construction. Talk about inefficiency! Talk about overhead! Twenty years times $22 million (55% of the $40 million yearly tax) is $440 million, only 63% of today's $700 million construction wish list. Don't you know they will both extend it and raise it later, without voter approval?


" address only stormwater...."

The tax collection fee alone will be $12 million in the first 20 years. By state law, that will go to the county general fund, to be used for any program, NOT drainage. Their alleged 1% for administration (part of the 45% not for drainage construction) will be another $8 million that does not build one
drainage channel. That totals $20 million minimum of our taxes for general government, even assuming they don't juggle the books!


"...the members of the governance board for this authority must be publicly elected officials from the member entities...there is direct accountability to the citizens."

A casual reading implies you will get to vote for drainage board members. Wrong. They are not elected to the board and cannot be recalled, no matter their misconduct. When they put us in millions of debt without our permission (in violation of state law), or raise tax rates or extend the entire tax without voter approval (in another violation of state law), we will be helpless. We cannot recall the mayor of Green Mountain Falls sitting on the drainage board; only the 400 voters of Green Mountain Falls can. We cannot vote to recall a county commissioner or council member if we don't live in their district. Besides, the drainage board will simply replace them with another appointee. There is NO accountability to the citizens. This scam is a flagrant violation of the founding principle of the American Revolution--"no taxation without representation!"


"There is no room in this effort for must guide..."

ALL the leaders who passed this scheme are politicians! The 78 rates were not set by "science" but by politics only. They want to squeeze the maximum tax out of you that they think they could get.


 "...this effort must be regional...."

That's because city voters rejected this boondoggle in 2009. Why should county voters be tricked into subsidizing
problems created by decades of city council neglect? The mayors of Colorado Springs and Monument agree that is unfair and oppose this rain tax.


" open and honest process...."

Do you believe that? She began her essay saying she met "over two years a small room with three City Council members, various staff members, several citizens and a map." From the start, this has been a covert conspiracy by career politicians meeting in back rooms.


You will be shocked at the complexity and audacity of this mega-theft. If you don't fully understand it, don't pay for it. "When in doubt, vote NO."