Vance E. Halvorson: 4C ballot language gives school board ‘extensive spending authority’ |

Vance E. Halvorson: 4C ballot language gives school board ‘extensive spending authority’

The biggest question of the Steamboat Springs School District’s ballot issue 4C is hidden in plain sight, within the confusing ballot language. In short, there is no sunset to the tax increase of $8.3 million annually; it goes on forever. There is no limitation on what it may be used for in light of the language: “to complete priority projects.”

There is no limitation on where the money can be spent in light of the language — “and other spaces.” Essentially, 4C gives the school board carte blanche — free rein — to spend $8.3 million annually and perpetually on capital improvements without further voter approval.

While we debate whether or not a 460-student pre-K-8 school is needed on the west side of town, we have overlooked the bigger issue: “Do we want to give the school board that extensive spending authority forever without further voter input?”                                                            

Vance E. Halvorson

Steamboat Springs

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