Michael Brown: Truth about 2A

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I would like to address Referendum 2A, which I find to be an insult to the intelligence of the voting public.

Once again the city is attempting to substantially increase its overall funding by disguising a tax increase as funding for ambulance and fire services when it is really for capital improvements.

I would propose honest wording of the Referendum as follows:

"Shall the city of Steamboat Springs taxes be permanently raised by 3.55 mills (first fiscal year dollar increase of $1.35 Million and expected to rise each year) commencing with calendar year 2003 to be collected in 2004 on all real property, both vacant and improved, dedicated to pay for unspecified capital improvements, whether needed or not."

Appropriate funding for fire and ambulance is a basic service that needs to be funded before considering capital improvements. I would encourage voters to see through the smoke of this referendum as funding for firefighting and ambulance and see it for what it really is "an increase in taxes to fund capital improvements." Then you can honestly decide whether it is appropriate.

Michael Brown

Steamboat Springs

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