Sep 29

One Rural Colorado District Sees Closing Funding Gap As Voter Education Challenge

RE-1 Valley Superintendent Jan DeLay giving a presentation discussing the finances of the school district. By building more understanding of the situation, she believes she can build momentum for a $2 million ballot measure for funding.

Jenny Brundin/CPR News

How schools are funded in Colorado is so complex, there’s a joke that only five people in the state truly understand it.

Superintendent Jan DeLay in northeastern Colorado’s RE-1 Valley School District is on a mission to change that. She’s convinced that once average citizens understand why so many districts like hers are in a fiscal crisis, they’ll approve a local tax measure on the ballot to fund RE-1.

The money would be would be used to attract and keep teachers and to expand academic opportunities for students through technology, textbooks and other programs.

The last time the district passed a mill levy was in 2005, for $500,000 to update buildings, technology, textbooks and transportation. DeLay says that money is gone within the first couple of months in the new school year. Continue reading

Sep 24

State Senate race in Arvada could be tipping point for Colorado Legislature


ARVADA, Colo. — The presidential race is important. The U.S. Senate race is important. But because Washington is so gridlocked, there is a good chance not much will be done regardless of who wins.

TABOR reforms
Woods: Against changing TABOR (Good)
Zenzinger: Supports some changes, like hospital provider fee (Bad)

A different occurrence might unfold in Colorado if Democrats have their way in Senate District 19, a district made up mostly of Arvada.

Currently, Republicans hold a one-seat majority in the Colorado State Senate. Those Republicans often find themselves stopping legislation that the Democratic House and the Democratic governor want to pass.

On the front lines in the Republican fight to defend the Senate is Republican  incumbent Laura Woods.

“Industry and business want the Senate to remain in Republican hands,” Woods said as she knocked on doors Wednesday. Continue reading

Sep 10

TABOR Timeout effort set for new pool

The people involved with a grassroots effort in Pueblo West to build a new swimming facility hope they will have positive impact on this November’s ballot issue, helping local residents understand the issue and get it passed.

The Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors just approved the language for a November ballot issue in which the District will ask for a “TABOR timeout.”

In doing so, that money for the next 10 years would be used solely for the Pueblo West swimming pool.

The grassroots effort now has more than 100 people behind it, local folks who are rallying for a new swimming facility to be built in Pueblo West to replace the very aged one currently in use.

“That pool was built 40 years ago when our population in Pueblo West was 1,500 people.

“Now it’s 30,000 and it’s time to bring our facilities into this century,” said Grant Shay, a local resident who has helped get the efforts going in the community.

Continue reading

Aug 17

Letter: ‘The rest simply pay for it’

My wife and I have lived in Pueblo West for nearly seven years.

We bought property and built a new home here because of the rural feel, the privacy, the huge vistas and to escape the many downfalls of the city of Pueblo.

Not the least of which was the ceaseless badgering by city council and other government entities for more money for pet projects.

Ballot tax initiatives were repeated ad nauseum due to a refusal to take no for an answer. We grew weary of the arrogance associated with that mindset and having to repeatedly fend off the never ending assaults on our wallets.

Recently, we have witnessed an increase in efforts of this ilk here in Pueblo West. Continue reading

Aug 06

Hate Big Government? Crush New Smoking Taxes

Hate Big Government? Crush New Smoking Taxes.

POSTED BY ON JUL 12, 2016 IN BLOG

Hate Big Government? Crush New Smoking Taxes.

 Aren’t you glad we live in a state where, due to TABOR, politicians have to ask us before soaking hardworking taxpayers? I like to call it “consensual taxation.”

In 2013, Coloradans overwhelmingly defeated Amendment 66, which would have been a $1 billion annual tax increase. The politicians wanted this tax increase, but the voters said no by a margin of 66-34. Thanks to TABOR, they had to ask us. We said politely declined.

This November, we will have the opportunity to vote on Amendment 69, which would create a single-payer health plan in Colorado at the cost of a new 10% payroll tax. It’s been widely panned, even by the Democrats, including US Senator Michael Bennet.

 

Continue reading