Cattlemen to host C and D seminar | SteamboatToday.com

Cattlemen to host C and D seminar

Tamera Manzanares

The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and other agriculture organizations are concerned that campaigns for and against referendums C and D have neglected rural areas.

The organizations have been hosting seminars throughout the state aimed at answering questions about how the ballot measures could affect roads, agriculture, health care, education and other rural concerns.

The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association is holding a final meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Routt County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.

Advertising campaigns from both sides of the issue have been confusing and appear to be more of an attempt to muddy the other sides’ campaign than present the facts, said Terry Fankhauser, executive vice president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.

Referendum C proposes to ease the state’s budget woes by temporarily relaxing revenue limits set forth by the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. It would allow the state to keep revenues that otherwise would be returned to taxpayers during the next five years.

Referendum D would let the state borrow against those funds to pay for designated road projects, improvements to school infrastructure and police and firefighter pensions.

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The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association has invited advocates and opponents of the measures to answer residents’ questions. State Sen. Jack Taylor has said he will represent the advocates’ side of the issue.

Participants at meetings in Montrose, Fort Morgan and other areas primarily wanted to know if Referendum C is a tax increase and how that money will be spent, Fankhauser said.

They also were curious about the effects on local colleges, health care and 4-H programs if Referendum C does not pass, said Fankhauser, who will be moderating the Hayden meeting.

Routt County Extension agent C.J. Mucklow said people also are concerned about spending cuts for agriculture education and research as well as the Colorado Department of Agriculture, which regulates many aspects of agriculture in the state.

He noted the extension office does not have a position on the referendums.

Overall, referendums C and D are complicated issues, and it would be difficult to have too much information, Mucklow said.

“I find it hard to understand the ramifications myself,” he said. “I would really encourage people to go.”

— To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com