Email letters, Sept. 29, 2011

Prop. 103 is just a huge tax increase

Proposition 103 (raising state income and sales taxes “for schools”), on this November’s ballot (mail in ballots start Oct. 11), is the biggest tax increase in state history. The average adult couple will pay $1,600 more in taxes.

In Delta County, the entire county budget is $29 million dollars — the separate school district budget is over $50 million. In Mesa County, the entire county budget is $140.9 million — the separate school budget is almost $200 million. We have been told repeatedly now that school funding has been cut by millions of dollars. But yet again, we are playing the old familiar shell game of a less than desired increase being called a cut.

School funding far exceeds entire county budgets. Obviously schools need financial reform, not more and more money being thrown recklessly at them. Proposition 103 proponents say this money will be spent on education and will “stop short sighted and irresponsible cuts to education funding.” But in the fine print we see that the money will go into the general funds — where it can then be spent on whatever legislators want to spend it on.



You’ve heard the proponents — over and over. Except for this quote from Dee Wisor (Sherman & Howard attorney for bond dealers and schools, and Prop 103 supporter): “The purpose is to raise revenue — we don’t need to get hung up on fairness.” Go to http://www.stopprop103.com to hear the taxpayers’ side of the story. And vote “No” on the biggest and most ambiguous tax increase in our entire state history.



DEBBIE SCHUM

Cedaredge

Roman cast system continues today

Over 2,000 years ago, The Roman Empire had a cast system, between the rich (patricians) and the poor (plebeians), that is still with us today.

Plebeians (Democrats) were average working citizens of Rome — farmers, bakers, builders or craftsmen — who worked hard to support their families and pay their taxes. Over the course of this period, early forms of public welfare were established in difficult times, plebeians could ask Roman administrators for help.

Patricians (Republicans) ranked just below the emperor and his relatives, the patrician families dominated Rome (paid no taxes) and its empire. The word “patrician” comes from the Latin “patres,” meaning “fathers,” and these families provided the empire’s political, religious and military leadership.

The big different was patricians had more compassion for the poor during difficult times, even though their favorite pastime was watching bloody slaughters inside the coliseum.

RICHARD L STOVER
Grand Junction

 



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