Monday Open Thread

So Columbus said, somebody show me the sunset and somebody did and he set sail for it,
And he discovered America and they put him in jail for it,
And the fetters gave him welts,
And they named America after somebody else.

–Ogden Nash

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. gertie97 says:

    Morning, campers.

    Question: Amendment 73 has me torn about possible effects on property taxes because of how Gallagher works (or doesn't).  Rural fire districts are having enough trouble with Gallaher as it is. I have no problem with the income tax increase for education. Help!

    And, yes, the stench is strong from Washington.


    • Davie says:

      Gertie — I'm no tax expert, but it appears that this amendment freezes the property tax rate for school districts at least, not others, at 7%.  Since rural districts are the ones hardest hit by Gallagher (your homes are not appreciating as fast as Front Range homes), it seems this bill is an attempt to halt that slide.  So yeah, it will prevent yet another property tax cut coming next year (so is that raising your taxes or just not lowering them?).

      From the Denver Post:

      After a late legislative push fell apart, Colorado lawmakers won’t take action this session on one of the state’s most pressing financial dilemmas — a constitutional trigger that’s expected to cut statewide property taxes by as much as 15 percent in 2019.

      Schools districts, too, have seen their property tax revenue plummet over the years, shifting more of the costs of education to the state government, which is required to backfill any decline in revenue.

      There’s broad bipartisan agreement that the current trajectory is unsustainable. The state now covers 64 percent of the costs of schools, up from just 43 percent in the 1980s, squeezing other needs such as transportation. But any solution is likely to be complicated — and politically difficult.

      Rural areas are the hardest hit, but they are predominantly represented by Republicans who are ideologically opposed to higher taxes — even in the form of preventing future tax cuts.

      Here's what I found on Ballotpedia

      This provision applies to property taxes levied by school districts. The measure does not affect property taxes levied by other local governments. Going into the election, residential property was assessed at 7.20 percent and the non-residential property was assessed at 29 percent. Under the measure, the property tax rate for residential property would be decreased to 7 percent and the non-residential property rate would be decreased to 24 percent.

    • Pseudonymous says:

      It's fairly complex.  Currently, the assessment rate for all real property is 7.2% of actual value.  For non-residential, it's 29%.  Gallagher is expected to drive the residential rate down to 6.11% for 2019 valuations.  That decrease could lower what districts (of all types) collect with their current mill levies, but that also depends on how property value changes– enough value increase can offset the lower assessment rate, but, as Davie notes, I think that's less likely in rural areas.  So, Amendment 73 forestalls that drop in residential property assessments, or most of it, by setting the rate at 7.0%.  Of course, that's only for school districts, not fire, water, local governments, etc.

      The problem is that 73 also decreases the non-residential assessment rate by a solid chunk, from 29% to 24%.  For many districts, that will mean a substantial drop in property tax revenue.  i'm thinking particularly of one rural district that, within the last couple years or so, took a huge revenue hit when a coal company went bankrupt.  They ended up negotiating payments, but only after the legislature created a loan program so they didn't have to turn out the lights.  In school districts where significant portions of the revenue come from commercial taxes, this is going to mean less property tax money.  In theory, the income tax is there to backstop that loss.

      Schools didn't bring other special districts along with them in this boat.  I wonder if it will be harder to pass future measures that preserve special district revenue without schools in the mix.  Time will tell, I guess.  Also, I think that the discussion above is impartial, but understand that I've already said I won't vote for this because the decrease in business property taxes is considerably bigger than the increase in business income taxes, and I'm not making this bargain to help out my corporate friends' bottom line.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        I'll be voting NO on 73, 74, 110, 112; also Jeffco 5A and 5B. I'll probably vote YES on the payday loan initiative and the other transportation initiative because bonding has worked in the past.

        But as VG said a month or two ago, the safest bet is to always vote NO on tax increases.

        • gertie97 says:

          We disagree on 110. If we're going to bond, we need a revenue stream to pay for them. The other one has no such provison, meaning the legislature will have to rob prisons or higher ed to get the money. It also puts most of the money into a few Front Range projects. The rest of the state gets the shaft.

        • Voyageur says:

          Well, I didn't limit that to tax increases.  I also dislike special interest jihads like 112 and 74 and 109.  Gertie nailed 109 , it will force even more savage cuts in higher education to build roads to subsidize front range sprawl..  Then, we'll bring more water here from the West Slope to water those new bluegrass lawns.

      • Davie says:

        Pseudo — Offsetting the 24% non-residential property tax cut is a rise in the corporate income tax from 4.63 to 6%, so that part doesn't bother me ($1.6 billion is nothing to sneeze at).

        While I'm not a big fan of putting more tax laws in the constitution (and for that matter neither does Jared Polis), what are the chances of the legislature passing a cleaner bill next year, and how soon would it get on a ballot for final tax payer approval (because thanks to TABOR, our elected representatives can't be trusted to pass tax bills on their own)?

  2. allyncooper says:

    Happy Indigenous Peoples Day !  God Bless Vespucci Land !

    In other news as shocking as Rudolf Hess's flight to England during The War, alt right groups are condemning Aryan Princess Taylor Swift, for endorsing (gasp!) Democrats in Tennesee, including Phil Bredensen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House.

    • Duke Cox says:

      Thank you, from one who counts indigenous people among my ancestors.


      Alt-right groups should take Taylor seriously…she has 112 million followers on social media. And they can easily show the Trumplicans© something about loyalty…

      and they are not all teeny boppers. I have enormous respect for the young lady.

      If you do not know the story of Delaney Clemens, a young cancer patient in Grand Junction whose greatest dream was to meet Taylor Swift, you do not know the heart of the young lady.

      When Ms. Swift heard of it, Delaney was too sick to travel. The superstar flew, unannounced, to Grand Junction, sneaked in to spend an hour with the little girl. No one knew until she had already left town. 

      Yeah…count me as a fan. She is also a brilliant musician and performer. Speak ill of her at your peril.

      • allyncooper says:

        The treatment of native peoples by the European invasion was nothing short of genocide – a stain on our history as bad as slavery, if not worse.  Of course Columbus can't be held responsible for what subsequently happened, but to honor him as someone who "discovered America" as I was taught in grade school is a joke. I'm all for renaming "Columbus Day"  Indigenous  Peoples Day. And that's no joke.

        Not really a "fan" of Swift, but agreed she's a brilliant musician and performer, not to mention an extremely successful business woman.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Columbus was “a murderous moron”. Grab a cold one and enjoy…

        In other moron news…

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    And just in case someone missed the point of Kavanaugh being confirmed, *resident Trump will have a prime-time special tonight, ceremonially swearing in Justice Kavanaugh.

    Any bets there will be unscripted remarks congratulating "his judge"?

    What's the betting line on POtuS outlining the votes he expect his Justices to make in the near future, as they "pass a bill" against abortion and any effort to stop the *resident's rule to exclude the nasty Muslims?

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Trump wants to throw a big party for Kegger Kavanaugh. Which channel is carrying Trump? Fox News?

      As Trump would say: "we'll see what happens." At least on social media, Monday Night RAW generally rules Monday night.

      • allyncooper says:

        OK, "buck up" for the kegger and the red solo cups, as we used to say at the frat house.

        At the small Western PA school I went to, we used to get kegs of Dubois Budweiser beer (not to be confused with the Anheuser Busch brand) for $16 a keg.  Cigs were  $ .45 a pack and gas was $ .36 a gal. Decent bag of weed was $20, better was $30, and primo was $40. Ah, those were the days.

  4. mycotropic says:

    The @realDonaldTrump post this morning;

    Christopher Columbus’s spirit of determination & adventure has provided inspiration to generations of Americans. On , we honor his remarkable accomplishments as a navigator, & celebrate his voyage into the unknown expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

    generated the "gag heard 'round the world".

    Which was the point I'm fairly certain…


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