The other side of RTA

Filed under: Opinion |

Both your letters backing issue 1A, the RTA, were untrue. As all will learn, RTA stands for Raise Taxes Again. The letter from Bill Knapp falsely claimed the 1984 half-cent city sales tax was voted-approved; it was not. It was the tax’s repeal that was voted-approved, and in 1991, not 1992. I wrote the petition that repealed it. The half-cent tax did not phase out until 1997, and an equal tax increase was approved by voters by 2001.

After the City Council originally imposed the new capital improvements tax in 1984, they diverted all money previously spent for capital improvements, and blew it on pay raises. The same thing can and will happen with the RTA. There is no guarantee total spending on roads will increase under RTA. A “statement of intent” is not legally binding.

The “ability to fund transportation improvements” has not “reached dangerous lows.” Both city and county general fund budgets have more than doubled in the last 12 years.

It is also not a “10 year sales tax.” The tax increase lasts forever, as does RTA’s new layer of unelected government. RTA has no “specifically designated…maintenance and transit service improvements” stated in the ballot title, which is almost 1,100 words long.

Wynne Palermo wrote “the roads are jammed at all times of the day, all during the year.”

We all know that is not true. Also, 73 percent of voters rejected that prior transportation tax. Its cost was under 25 percent of the current tax plan. It was rejected as recently as 1999, not 1995.

Mrs. Palermo is a real estate agent who promotes that new housing of which she now complains. Housing growth doesn’t pay for its full impacts. Now her go-go industry wants taxpayers to subsidize all those traffic and other costs, while she keeps her profits.

Readers who want the facts on the RTA and other tax increases can visit www.RaiseTaxesAgain.com

Last thought – how old were you when you learned people would deceive you to get your money?

Douglas Bruce

Colorado Springs