Printed letters, Feb. 27, 2011

Late fees on vehicles aid state, local entities

I was disappointed to see The Daily Sentinel lend its support to HB 1084, which would reduce late fees on vehicles registration.

When you register a vehicle, especially a newer vehicle, most of what you are paying is the specific ownership tax, which is a personal property tax on the vehicle. This money does not go to CDOT but rather to the county, city, school district and other special districts within the county.

When I purchased a new vehicle last year, 93 percent of the money I paid to the Mesa County Clerk to register it was for the specific ownership tax.

By reducing the late fees for vehicle registration or allowing them to be waived completely, we are saying that there should be no penalty for not paying specific ownership tax on time.

The city of Grand Junction recently confiscated the property of a local restaurant for not paying its sales tax collections on time. The county can sell your real property if you do not pay your property tax on time. There are interest and penalty charges if you do not pay your income tax on time. The specific ownership tax should be no different.

As a member of the Colorado Transportation Commission, I have seen the numerous safety projects and new bridges that have been funded statewide from the increased registration fees contained in the FASTER legislation passed in 2009. The improvements to I-70B, nearing completion on the west end of Grand Junction, are an example of a project funded in part by increased vehicle registration fees. These fees have also provided a much- needed increase in funding to local governments.

It would be a mistake to eliminate late fees on vehicle registration and reduce transportation funding for both CDOT and local governments. Register your vehicle on time and you will not have to worry about late fees.

DOUG ADEN

Grand Junction

Education reform begins by reining in the unions

I was taken aback by Vera Mulder’s letter to the editor with the headline, “Education reform can’t involve more budget cuts.”

So much of the entire letter was devoted to liberal platitudes. It was annoying rather than informative — the scare tactics of the far right, tax deductions are government subsidies, and so on. I found absolutely nothing in the letter to substantiate the necessity to leave education budgets intact.

On the other hand, I can point out that past budget increases have not given education a boost. In the past 40 years, our nation has tripled spending, in inflation-adjusted dollars, per student while results have stagnated or declined.

Teachers make good money on top of excellent benefits. The national result has been spending up, test scores holding steady.

In New York City, charter schools were working wonders for kids in poor neighborhoods until the unions shut them down. In Washington, D.C., our first black president joined his union supporters to shut down the one school that was helping the black community the most. Last week in Wisconsin, teachers abandoned the children to protest the taxpayer. Their union passed out doctor notes to ensure that the teachers were paid for walking out.

Reform begins with reining in the unions. Budget cuts are separate, but just as necessary. States, including Colorado, don’t have the money.

BRUCE TAYLOR

Grand Junction

Gore doesn’t deserve front-page coverage

Why on Earth did The Daily Sentinel give front-page coverage to Al Gore, who continues to spew lies about global warming? The scam he and the phoney environmentalists perpetrated on this country and the world has been exposed as a hoax.

Hasn’t this scam cost us enough already?

BERTIE MARAH

Cedaredge



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