Carbondale's community supported, weekly newspaper

Letters 10/24/13

Sections: Letters Published

No on
fire tax

Dear
Editor:

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 Thanks
to Allyn Harvey for pointing out the flaws in the Carbondale &
Rural Fire Protection District’s latest tax increase request. Other
local fire districts are asking for smaller tax increases which would
sunset in six years, but the CRFPD wants to double the tax rate and
make it permanent. That means when property values bounce back, our
property taxes will skyrocket, permanently. The fire chief says that
if that happens, the district could possibly grant a tax credit. But
when taxes skyrocketed in 2010, with taxpayers struggling to pay
their mortgages in the depths of the recession, the fire district
refused to grant a temporary credit.

 And
did they put the extra windfall in reserve, knowing that valuations
would go back down again? No; they spent it.

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 We’ve
lived in the same house since 2004, when we paid $155 to the CRFPD.
To pay for construction of new fire stations, our taxes increased to
$253 in 2005 and $256 in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 and 2009, we paid
$287, all reasonable rates of increase. But after 2009’s sharp rise
in valuations, we paid the CRFPD $395 in 2010 and 2011. The last tax
increase boosted that to $410 in 2012, and $407 in 2013.

 If
4B fails, our taxes will fall back to slightly less than what
we paid in 2005, when the fire district seemed to be functioning just
fine. If that is not enough to cover our fair share of the fire
district’s expenses, we’d support a temporary tax increase if the
district proposes one next year. But if 4B passes, once our valuation
returns to what it was in 2011, we will have to pay $550. And if it
comes all the way back to 2009’s value, we’ll owe $725. We
Carbondalians may be a bunch of “tax and spend liberals,” but
this latest tax increase request is too much, even for us.

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John
B. Stewart

Nancy
Smith

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Carbondale

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Consider
fire tax

Dear
Editor:

I
ask that the voting community take the time to consider the
incredible tax increase that 4B, the fire district tax, would levy
against us in Carbondale. This is the third increase in 12 years, the
second in two years, and as it acts in perpetuity, the tax will
continue to grow exponentially as our property values recover.

All
agencies suffered tax revenue losses during the last few years when
our property valuations declined. Everyone, both in government
agencies and at home, were forced to regroup and buckle down to
survive. Many of us did not withstand the downturn, and those of us
who have are still trying to recoup losses and rebuild our economic
lives. We do not need to pad the coffers of the fire district that
did not manage its funds accordingly. While I appreciate the
emergency services that exist, I cannot fathom a need for such a
massive (double) mil increase. In the event of a large land fire,
adjoining communities, Colorado state fire agencies, BLM, and the
USFS would immediately supply fire crews and needed aid. As a small
community, the tax is unnecessary to keep us safe.

I
live in what is considered an “average home” in Garfield County,
as it meets the concept of a median value. Currently, I pay nearly
$400 a year to the fire district. In comparison, I pay $1,300 a year
to the school district. The school district educates well over 5,000
students, runs 12 schools, provides bus service in three communities,
and pays the salaries of hundreds of employees. As property values
increase, and therefore the fire district tax with it, I can easily
see my fire district tax soaring to $1,000 over the next 10 years.
This is an out-of-balance equation for the services offered.

Please
vote no on 4B so that our taxes can be used in a more equitable
manner.

Denise
Barkhurst

Carbondale

SWAN
thanks

Dear
Editor:

On
behalf of Coredination, A Movement Studio, we would like to thank
everyone who helped make this year’s SWAN DANCE 2013 performance
possible. Special thanks to Gayle Embrey; the Third Street Center;
the amazing dancers,, choreographers and musicians; Thunder River
Theatre; Jay Walker; Dos Gringos Café; Different Indeed; Full Circle
productions; The Sopris Sun; all our volunteers and all of you who
attended the show!

We
look forward to a fourth annual SWAN dance event in 2014!

Alexandra
Jerkunica

Coredination

Carbondale

Lift-Up
thanks

Dear
Editor:

From
those of us at the Carbondale Lift-Up office to Sherry Rubin and the
Mason Morse crew – thank you! The food drive was a huge success and
the timing was great.

Debi
Boyle

Lift-Up

Carbondale

Yes on
66

Dear
Editor:

Voting
yes on 66 is about making a wise investment in our future.

It’s
a financial investment in the simplest sense. Allocating more
resources toward the start of a child’s education — helping
children receive the preschool and kindergarten programming that they
need, regardless of their families’ economic status — means that
the state will be spending fewer resources down the road.

When
children don’t get an adequate start in education, the state
eventually ends up spending more resources dealing with other
problems.

More
importantly, Amendment 66 is an investment in our children
themselves. Providing adequate resources for education means creating
productive and thoughtful community members as these children reach
adulthood.

Colorado
ranks near the bottom in terms of how much money states spend on
education. Colorado also has one of the lowest individual income-tax
rates in the country. Over the past several years, Colorado’s
schools have experienced over $1 billion in budget cuts. Amendment 66
would provide essential resources not just for early education, but
also for at-risk students and gifted students, teacher training and
reducing class sizes.

Skimping
on education funding is economically short-sighted and crippling to
many children’s futures. Please join me in voting yes on 66.

Debbie
Bruell

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