No on Springs 2C, a $46M tax hike

Colorado Springs councilwoman Jan Martin says you're rich and that you don’t mind paying a lot more in taxes. If she's right about you, and you have plenty of money for the city bureaucrats to burn, then ignore this message and vote for Issue 2C when you get your mail ballot on October 15th. Editor: So writes former Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany in a letter and mass email last week. His appeal goes on:

However, if you want to help us fight one of the most massive tax increases in Colorado Springs history, then we urge you to make a contribution to CCEG (Citizens for Cost-Effective Government) today at

Every dime of your contribution will be used to defeat this business-crippling and economy-shrinking tax. None of your contribution will go to campaign workers or political consultants. We are all working hard as unpaid volunteers because the defeat of Issue 2C is so important to the economic future of our community!

In fact, your contribution will be used exclusively for voter education mailings and e-mails, yard signs, and as many web site, print and radio ads that your contribution makes possible.

What are we going to tell the voters?

As any small business owner knows, Colorado Springs business property owners already pay four times the amount of taxes that residential property owners pay.

If 2C passes, the average homeowner will be soaked for another $200 per year. The average small business owner will pay $1,000 more per year. For large businesses that employ many Colorado Springs residents, that bill could easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. That is hundreds of thousands of dollars going to government instead of into wages and benefits for workers.

Now, if you've read the tax-hiker's website on the issue, they stand by their story that we'll still have one of the lowest property tax rates in Colorado. But the Gazette looked into the issue and found out that was not true!

The truth is if Issue 2C passes, Colorado Springs taxpayers will pay one of the highest property taxes in all of Colorado! Higher even than Boulder.

When asked about the city's bogus claims, Jan Martin said "I'm trying to remember where we got those numbers."

She can't remember, because they made them up!!!

But facts never get in the way of our Jan Martin and the tax-and-spend city council members. They claim the condition of city finances is "dire" and that there will be catastrophic cuts should voters fail to pass 2C.

What she forgets is that business owners across Colorado Springs have already made "catastrophic" cutbacks -- in budgets and staff -- just to keep their doors open.

Any tax increase -- not just 2C -- right now would kill those same businesses.

But the City Council still keeps its hand out asking for more and more of our tax dollars. Because they don’t have the political courage it takes to make the kinds of cuts that business owners have to make every time the economy goes south.

And it's not like they've gone without more tax dollars.

During the past few years, the voters have swallowed their demands for more revenue. And when the voters say "no," the city council dreams up schemes to seize the dollars they want.

Do you remember the .01-cent sales tax increase to pay for the purchase of additional open space? That raised $5.2 million dollars this year alone.

Or how about the public safety tax of .04 cents to pay for additional police and fire? That raised $23.5 million dollars this year.

Then there was the countywide transportation tax (RTA) of 1 cent, which has allowed Colorado Springs to significantly reduce its contribution to road maintenance and throw that entire burden on the Regional Transportation Authority. That also gave them the room to divert the money they once spent on infrastructure to hiring more bureaucrats.

That transportation tax raised $70 million dollars this year, from which the city of Colorado Springs received 78% or $54.6 million dollars.

And of course, there’s everybody’s favorite, the stormwater tax. (Oops, excuse us, we mean stormwater “fee.”) That generated $20 million dollars this year alone!

That is $103.3 million every year in additional taxes and fees created in just the last few years! And, they still want more!

While we’re on the subject of “fees,” we are still facing a several hundred percent increase in our water rates, and Council says it’s still not enough.

Now Jan Martin and her tax-and-spend council cronies want to boost your property taxes by 200% in the middle of a recession. (And never forget the one truism about taxes: they may go up, but they almost never come down.)

That kind of thinking will kill the very businesses we depend upon to take the risks, generate the profits and hire the workers that keep our tax base and our city strong.

That’s why we're turning to you to help us fight this outrage now, and help save Colorado Springs businesses and our struggling economy.

Thank you for your friendship and support. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards, Andy McElhany

PS- The Colorado Springs city council has promised to repeal the business personal property tax. It is a drop in the tax bucket. They are promising to give up $2 million if they can pass Issue 2C taxing our homes and businesses an additional $46 million on top of the $103.3 million a year in new taxes and fees they have taken from us in the last few years. Help us defeat Issue 2C by donating at our website, or mail your check to Citizens for Cost-Effective Government (CCEG), P.O. Box 6711, Colorado Springs, CO • 80934-6711