In its February report, the Steamboat Springs Tax Policy Advisory Board concluded "the greatest vulnerability of the City's ability to fund capital and services at the community's desired level is loss of grant income, rather than decline from sales tax and other revenue sources." Colorado's current budget woes may test that conclusion sooner than we thought.
To date, in 2005 alone, the Department of Local Affairs has distributed grants to Steamboat Springs amounting to more than $1.1 million, funding projects such as The Haven ($600,000), expansion of the Public Works workshop ($600,000), and assistance to the hospital's chemotherapy program ($90,000). As the state budget tightens under the TABOR ratchet, future DOLA funds are expected to be diverted back to maintain ongoing state level projects and operations. The loss of these grants will greatly reduce investment in our local infrastructure.
In addition, other local community-based services will be affected by the state budget pinch, as the higher education and human service sectors are more exposed to state budget discretions than other sectors.
In an effort to prevent such funding failures, a bipartisan effort at the state level has placed referendums C and D on the November ballot. The undersigned former members of the TPAB strongly recommend you vote yes on referendums C and D.
Jack Dysart, Audrey Enever, Nancy Nagler Engelken, Scott Glackman, John Greig, Steve Lewis, Ken Solomon and Fred Wolf