Downtown Colorado Springs (copy)

Downtown Colorado Springs from Gold Hill Mesa.

Downtown Springs gets the attention

Re: Yolanda Avila’s Oct. 9 guest column, where is she getting her statistics? Southeast Colorado Springs residents have life spans 16 years less than the rest of the Springs? And it’s 6-8 degrees warmer there too! I’ll remember that the time next time I’m freezing my tush off.

Although I do agree with much of Yolanda’s overall assessments, I want to assure her that it’s all areas of Colorado Springs that are getting shorted — only downtown matters. I for one would like to know where, by ZIP Code, sales taxes are being collected and where they’re being spent? We should split the city into two governments: A “Township” of and the “City” of Colorado Springs. Until we do, downtown businesses and and homeowners will continue to suck the life out of the rest of us.

I for one would love to see those tax numbers.

Ed Covney

Colorado Springs

National drinking water crisis

Colorado is in unfortunate company as one of many states on the front line of what is becoming a national drinking water crisis. Toxic chemicals best known by the acronym PFAS have found their way from the firefighting foams used at the Air Force Academy into our drinking water, bringing contaminated water to communities all over El Paso County.

Tragically, millions of people across the country drink these cancer-causing substances every day. Not only is it linked to cancer, but to immune system deficiencies, high cholesterol, and developmental issues in children and infants. It is astounding that the Air Force has already spent $50 million to clean up PFAS contamination in Colorado alone, highlighting the need for more federal funding in the state.

It is essential for Sen. Cory Gardner to bring home the necessary money to protect our drinking water.

Securing the funding to improve our infrastructure and clean up this contamination would be a huge step toward cleaner, safer drinking water. It is critical for Colorado to clean our drinking water fast so that our troops, their families, and civilians who live near bases shouldn’t have to continue worrying about their drinking water for another minute, much less another decade.

Maya Berry

Colorado Springs

Don’t give Legislature a blank check

In your upcoming mail ballot you will be asked to give the state of Colorado a blank check. Don’t be tricked into believing the initial language “without raising taxes…”

Proposition CC is a tax increase forever. Colorado taxpayers will no longer receive (forever) any of their tax rebates (refunds) of their hard earned money if Proposition CC passes.

Colorado Legislature has tricked us in the past by saying requested tax increases would fund roads, bridges, education, teacher pay, and on and on, but when our taxpayer money was spent, the Legislature decided to divert it elsewhere due to lobby and special interest groups pressure. The Legislature has consistently broken promises to Colorado voters. Recently, Colorado voters rejected 13 ballot measures at the state level by a wide margin. Because Colorado voters defeated the Colorado Legislature’s request for more funds, the Legislature now proposes to “trick” Colorado voters again.

This Proposition will “gut” the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (also known as TABOR). The Taxpayer Bill of Rights requires voter approval for any increase in taxes or debt. This is our Taxpayer Bill of Rights, not the Legislature’s, do not vote to give it away forever.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights has been the only way voters have kept Colorado from spending taxpayer funds to the maximum, as done in California.

Proposition CC will forever remove Colorado seniors and veterans property tax exemptions. This will put seniors and veterans at risk, and place more pressure on local budgets.

Colorado communities have individually voted property tax increases to fund local schools and other services such as fire departments (we can locally determine if funds are being spent as represented), and if Proposition CC passes, those seniors and veterans on fixed incomes will have a difficulty paying local property tax bills.

Colorado has a top ranked economy. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights has contributed to Colorado’s success. Colorado has one of the lowest tax rates in the country providing a positive location for business investment and jobs.

If our Taxpayer Bill of Rights is repealed, over $1.7 billion collected over the next 3 years will not be refunded to Colorado taxpayers.

The Legislature already has a $32.5 billion budget… enough is enough! This budget automatically increases with population and inflation. The Legislature has enough of our money.

The Legislature must be held to account and budget just as we do with our personal budgets.

Mary Ann Smith

Pagosa Springs

Shortage of substitute teachers

A middle school teacher recently told me that she would have stayed home sick but because of a lack of substitute teachers (STs) didn’t allow that healthy choice.

Now, as it may be that Colorado does have a real shortage of STs shouldn’t an educated person wonder “why” the Colorado Department of Education charges $90 for their required three-year certificate?

Many times STs enter a classroom that they have no informed knowledge of the student’s behavior and possible special needs.

Let’s hope that Gov. Jared Polis will quickly erase the fee to become a certified ST.

Mike Sawyer

Denver

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