Vote no tax

Oct 132010
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

Correction: This article incorrectly reports that the city’s sales tax rate will increase from 8 percent to 8.85 percent when the tax will increase from 6.7 percent to 7.55 percent. The increase would bring in $18.7 million, not $18.5 million. The Collegian regrets its errors.

In mid-September, City Manager Darin Atteberry announced that the City of Fort Collins could soon experience a $5.4 million budget cut.
Under the cuts, the city would halt its Fourth of July celebration, Mulberry Pool would close, and city maintenance would be affected, among others.

The reason? The city, unlike the federal government, cannot deficit spend.

To make up for its projected losses, voters are asked to approve on the November ballot a .85 percent sales tax increase –– from 8 percent to 8.85 percent –– that would bring in an estimated $18.5 million in city revenue.

In light of a visit by city officials to student government Wednesday evening regarding the tax increase, the Collegian Editorial Board split 5-5 in a vote on whether to support the increase.

Opponents were upset that the city has dared ask students for money after years of painting them as destructive, apathetic vagabonds.

Thousands of students annually volunteer in the community and, ultimately, one editor said, “We care about Fort Collins more than it cares about us.”

Another editor said, “Repeal U 2 (the housing ordinance known as 3-Unrelated) and I’ll listen to the tax increase.”

Those in favor of the increase said the money is vital in maintaining quality of life in Fort Collins.

Under the increase, 50 percent would go to roads, 17 percent to police services, 11 percent to fire services, 11 percent to parks and recreation maintenance and 11 percent to community priorities as determined by the City Council. The increase would sunset after 10 years.

But one thing the board did agree upon is that, whether you support the increase or not, it’s important to vote next month. If students don’t, it’s not going to help the community’s view of us as a whole.

We’ll continue to be seen as vagabonds with no place –– physically or politically –– in this city.

 Posted by at 2:40 pm

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