In a recent opinion piece, Mayor Suthers wrote he and City Council support Issue 2A. While a majority of Council does, I do not.
2A has two parts. Part 1 asks to let the City keep $3.9M in excess 2019/2020 TABOR revenue. Borrowing from President Reagan – ask yourselves: Are you better off financially now than you were at the start of 2020?
The City is! Thanks to the Mayor’s proactive budget tightening and $37M CARES funding, page 2-36 of the Mayor’s 2021 budget shows the City will have $7M more in reserves at the end of 2021 than at the start of 2020. How many of us will have more money in the bank then?
A pro for 2A is it will support Public Safety; but only $1.9M – not the full $3.9M. The City would still be $5M ahead if it took $1.9M out of reserves.
Part 2 asks to avoid the unfair TABOR practice of taking longer to recover from an economic downturn than to fall into it. I fully support allowing the City to use 2019 as our TABOR base instead of 2020. If not, we would be foregoing $21M over the next 4 years had this once in a century pandemic not occurred.
The problem though – there is no sunset. If another downturn happens in 2028, the 2019 base would again come into play. It should be the Colorado Springs citizens of 2028 deciding how best to respond to TABOR impacts to their economic downturn, not us today.
Therefore, I am encouraging you to vote NO on Issue 2A. Keep the $3.9M in your pockets instead of adding to the City’s piggy bank and make us come back in April 2021 with a TABOR ratchet down override that is limited to this crisis only.