Omar M. Campbell: Object to funding |

Omar M. Campbell: Object to funding

I have no objection to the URA proposal per se, only to the intended method of funding it.

The skim-off of future tax increases will affect every taxpayer in Routt County for decades. Specifically, it is a given that the county is going to have to increase taxes to keep up with inflation and growth in coming years. With the proposed skim-off, these increases will have to be larger to make up for the amount earmarked to the URA.

The proposal has to be put to a countywide public vote to be fair. Because the proposal would divert some of our school and other general county tax money to the URA, all county taxpayers are entitled to vote. Otherwise, it is taxation without representation. That went over like a lead balloon a couple of centuries ago when the phrase was coined.

Council majority claims to have authority to vote it in-house, but common sense and moral imperative tell us that the democratic way is for the people to decide whether they want to participate and to be taxed.

Without a mandate from the voters, it is inappropriate for the council to use our tax money to do a “blight survey” at the request of the URA sponsors. Don’t we already have plenty of competent engineers on the city staff to look at the infrastructure needs, etc., of the uptown area involved?

I also would advise the council not to rush this URA thing. The bulk of the people you are supposed to serve needs time to absorb and to study these quickie proposals. A year or so isn’t going to make that much difference, and it would give the URA sponsors time to come up with an acceptable funding scheme.

Omar M. Campbell

Steamboat Springs

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