‘This is the people’s revenge,’ Saint says
A Mesa County employee running to become one of the bosses said Friday he supports three ballot measures that have riled local government officials around the state.
Steve Saint, a Libertarian and a Mesa County Sheriff’s Department employee, said he decided to support the measures — Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 — knowing the measures could cost him his job.
“This is the people’s revenge. That’s what it is,” Saint said of the measures during a debate with Commissioner Steve Acquafresca, a Republican seeking a second term on the commission.
Acquafresca and Saint spoke to the Redlands Rotary Club at the Redlands Mesa Golf Course clubhouse.
Acquafresca said he opposes the measures, noting that one, Proposition 101, would cost the county $10 million the first four years after adoption.
Proposition 101 would lower vehicle, income and telecommunications taxes and fees. Amendments 60 and 61 would reduce property taxes and limit the borrowing authority of state and local government, respectively.
Similar doomsday forecasts preceded voter approval of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in 1992, and the state survived, Saint said.
“They’ll live through this, too,” he said.
The state government “found loopholes in TABOR and exploited them,” necessitating a reaction to protect taxpayers, Saint said.
Mesa County already has cut 25 percent of its budget in the last two years and can ill afford more reductions, Acquafresca said.
Adoption of all of the measures would result in a loss of local control, Acquafresca said.
The two will face off in the Nov. 2 general election.