Ballot question language has long been a problem in Colorado state and local government, especially when it comes to tax issues. Come election time, politicians and bureaucrats predict what language will work best in their mission to get you to part with your hard-earned money. It’s all about “selling it” to you. Through telephone polls, they hone in on the language you will find most agreeable.
It’s sneaky, really.
Colorado Springs ballot question 2A is a prime example of bad ballot language. We have a bone to pick with one ballot word, in particular —thereafter. That one word grants government considerable leeway well into the future. We’re urging SpringsTaxpayers.com readers to consider a NO vote on 2A.
This week, we have shared considerable detail about what is revealed in the 2A ballot language, namely that $1.9 million of the 2019 TABOR overage would allegedly be designated to public safety. We have provided details on some recent wasteful city projects, and we have shared information about the cash influx from the Amazon city sales tax money and the $37 million in Federal CARES Act funding . We questioned where the funds would really go. And we criticized the grotesque delight expressed when politicians captured more of our tax money. The City of Colorado Springs doesn’t need to keep our tax money. That much is crystal clear to us. Hopefully, Colorado Springs voters see it the same way.
We have heard from some voters who don’t have a problem letting the City keep $1.9 million in funds to be used toward public safety. We’re urging those of you in that category to pay attention to what is NOT in the 2A ballot language and what it means for the future of Colorado Springs.
Here’s the ballot issue:
The word thereafter deserves much attention. There is no end in sight. There is no deadline. Ballot question 2A is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. COVID-19 is not likely to impact our economy in 2022 and beyond. So, why give the City of Colorado Springs permission to keep excess revenue until the end of time without asking the voters?
Additionally, there is no specified use of future funds. Voters and taxpayers are completely in the dark beyond the “public safety” wording spelled out for 2019. What about 2020, 2021? Will that money buy a bike lane for every single road in Colorado Springs? It’s certainly possible. Nothing the City politicians have done thus far indicates they are worthy of that much public trust. The future TABOR overage money would be theirs, to do with as they wish —forever.
Does that make you as nervous as it makes us?
Thereafter. It means long-term consequences if this ballot issue passes. Colorado Springs citizens deserve more clarity. For anyone on the fence, that one word should be enough to sway you toward a NO vote. It’s our money and politicians should be required to ask our permission to keep it and tell us what it’s funding. A NO vote on 2A reminds the politicians that it’s our money —not theirs.