Club 20 takes aim at valid targets
Club 20 is always concerned about how potential public-policy measures will affect western Colorado. So it’s no surprise that the organization on Friday found a trio of potential ballot amendments bad news for this side of the Continental Divide.
One, Proposition 101, would cut state revenue about $1.2 billion by slashing state vehicle registration fees far below what they were before they were raised last year. It would also cut the state income tax, already one of the nation’s lowest, by nearly 25 percent.
Western Slope residents who have watched the state struggle to cut more than $1 billion from its budget the past few years — and seen funding cut for schools, colleges and local facilities such as the Grand Junction Regional Center nursing facility — have good cause to wonder what will happen to such fundamental state responsibilities as highway maintenance if that proposition passes.
A second measure, Amendment 60, would phase out local property tax funding for schools, which would be particularly devastating if Proposition 101 also passed, since there would be no state funding to make up the difference.
The third, Amendment 61, is directed more at local governments, including school districts. It would make the cost of borrowing so high and the restrictions so heavy that voter approval of any borrowing measures would be all but precluded.
Taken together, the three ballot proposal are designed to eviscerate state government and severely hamstring local government. That’s not good for any part of the state, including the Western Slope. Club 20 is dead on in opposing them.