Doing the math on Amendment 66
Every day we see that TV ad claiming that Amendment 66 will cost an average Colorado family only $133.
Just do the math! According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011 there were 2,224,603 households in Colorado. You can increase that number somewhat for an estimated 2013 figure. To make the math easy, let's try 2,500,000. $1 billion divided by 2,500,000 households yields $400 per household. That's nearly three times more than the ad's measly $133.
Of course, not all households actually pay Colorado income tax. Thus, the per-household figure must be considerably larger than $400. It certainly isn't $133.
I wonder that our media haven't been motivated to question this oft-repeated $133 misstatement. And I lament that legislators, so quick to pile regulations on jobs-creating businesses, see no need for a "truth-in-advertising" requirement on political ads. Voters deserve to know that Amendment 66 invokes a staggering yearly $1 billion tax increase.
Peg Brady, Colorado Springs
Could have been Amendment 666
Well they're at it again ... Amendment 66 is just a redux of Initiative 22 all over again. It's a work around Colorado's Tax Payer Bill of Rights, (TABOR), which allows increases in taxes only with a vote of the people. Meaning they need to sell any increase to the people. Amendment 66 will allow tax increases on your state income tax percentage, a flat tax of 4.63 percent, to become higher starting 2014-2015 tax year. It takes away our wonderful flat tax for everyone, and taxes on a tiered two-level system, according to your income at any particular time. Then it gives the Colorado state lawmakers the ability to increase it every year forever to what ever level they see fit, without consulting or requiring a vote of the people!
They may have well named it Amendment 666, the Politician's Mark of the Beast to increase taxes at will.
It's a bad constitutional amendment to our state constitution and one which failed with Initiative 22 a while back. And if you think you'll see music and art classes return to the classroom, don't deceive yourself, nothing in the law requires this. Read it for yourself. The only real fair tax system is a flat tax for everyone equally paying the same. Right now this two tiered tax system would tax individuals on income earned, and penalize you for making more than someone else. The first year it goes into affect, those citizens making under $75,000 will have a state tax rate of 5 percent or an increase of 8 percent in income tax to pay to the state. Earn over $75,000 the tax rate goes to 5.9 percent or an increase in income tax of 26.6 percent more paid to the state out of your pocket. There is a clause in Amendment 66, which allows the General Assembly to change the amounts currently assigned the 5 percent and 5.9 percent rates to different income levels. Meaning that the second-year politicians, whom we all trust so much, can say now the tiered levels will be $50,000 and $70,000, respectively. Coloradans once rejected this kind of amendment, don't let them fool you again.
It's bad for us all. If this Amendment 66 passes, there's another SB213 waiting in the wings which will take away local control of our schools and let the state decide how to run things. But they need this to pass 66 first. Tell them no on 66, we know best locally how to run our local schools.
Fred Little, Peyton
More information on indictment
Denver attorney and legal analyst Dan Recht was quoted in The Gazette as not believing "any court in Colorado" had ever seen a case where a prosecutor failed to accept a grand jury indictment ("JonBen? document drop continues bizarre saga," Oct. 25). As a matter of fact, the federal Rocky Flats Special Grand Jury 89-2 was confronted with a similar situation in 1991 when the court, acting through U.S. Attorney Mike Norton and now-deceased federal judge Sherman Finesilver, tried to halt grand jury proceedings.
Norton allowed the defendant, Rockwell, to plead guilty to felony and misdemeanor environmental violations. He also said the company would pay a fine less than the bonuses the government had paid it to run the plant. The jurors were enraged and wrote a report, which the court sealed, but a redacted version was finally made public when portions of the original document leaked out. The full report can be found on the Internet.
Perhaps one day more of the JonBen? Ramsey grand jury investigation will also leak out.
Jere Joiner, Colorado Springs
Just another day to get through
I am in total agreement with Trish Beyer. But I didn't realize stores would be open on Thanksgiving Day now. That is worse than the 4 a.m. openings on the Friday after. Is Thanksgiving going to be relegated as just another day to get through? It is evident, these stores are getting desperate in this economy and don't want to slow down. They really don't realize how much of an impact they are causing families trying to have time together on holidays they deem important. Maybe it's time to do a kind of boycott on all stores that will not close on Thanksgiving. Everyone, you can shop any time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There's no need to run to stores because they say you should. We are not sheep, we are human beings with a brain. We shouldn't have to give in to the advertising that says we have to be at the front door to get that so-called bargain. Stay home and enjoy the company of your families. They are more important than some high-priced gadget.
Valtina M. Tenhaeff, Colorado Springs