Inaccuracies abound in Vessey’s support for 1A

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Dear Editor,
David Vessey’s article pushing county tax increase 1A was wildly inaccurate.
His second sentence begins, “After years of tax cuts …” What tax cuts are those? County tax revenue is millions more than in prior years. In the official local election notice all voters were mailed, the county admitted its spending was $159 million in 2005, is $179 million this year and is expected to be $194.5 million next year, without the tax increase.
Some cuts, some crisis.
Vessey calls that a “$45 million decrease in the county budget because of tax cuts during the last four years.” Even the county’s official election statement refutes that crazy claim.
Vessey says the county population has increased 43 percent since 2000. It’s closer to 10 percent.
He said the coroner’s workload “has risen 500 percent.” I called the coroner’s office and they said they did 472 autopsies in 2000 and expect about 800 this year.
That’s a 69 percent increase, not 500 percent. It’s also a very tiny part of the county budget, and supports the highest-paid county official.
Vessey says the money is earmarked, but I have a written legislative legal opinion that confirms that governments can keep the tax and spend the money elsewhere, without getting new voter approval. It’s known as bait-and-switch and it applies to every ballot issue not put in the state constitution.
This economic crisis is the worst time to raise taxes. It will smother sales and jettison jobs.
If Vessey can’t give CSBJ readers honest reasons to support the largest tax increase in county history, that tells voters all they need to know.
Vote “no” on 1A.
State Rep. Douglas Bruce,
Colorado Springs