(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
John Suthers is rocking the GOP boat in pot-hole ridden Colorado Springs.
The Republican mayor is calling for a sales tax to fix pot holes, but more significantly, he’s backing a ballot initiative allowing the city to keep funds that otherwise would have been returned to taxpayers under TABOR.
Suthers sounded the alarm yesterday, saying in his state of the city speech, as reported by KKTV:
Suthers: “When companies are looking around, they’re looking for the level of investment the community is making for infrastructure and we need to show them that investment.”
Suthers says the sales tax would cost the average household about $100 per year.
And on KVOR radio over the weekend, here’s how Suthers explained his support for the TABOR ballot initiative:
Suthers: Now, as to the issue that is on the ballot, let me explain what that is. In 2014, the city, as total revenue, took in $2.1 million more than it was allowed to take in under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights—the cap. Well, how did that happen? It happened because in 2014 the city got a number of state grants to deal with fire and flood disasters that occurred in the previous couple of years. And that revenue has to be counted against your TABOR cap. And that —those grants — took us over the TABOR cap for 2014. So the question is: Do we refund it to the voters at approximately $11 per household, or do we retain it?
Sounds a lot like the argument Hickenlooper has been making for changing the definition of the “hospital provider fee” under TABOR, a move that would free up over $150 million for transportation and other projects.
Suthers wants to keep taxes for stuff people want, like trails and parks! He’s touting a poll showing he’s got the support of the people–even if Americans for Prosperity is pissed.
Like the Republicans who backed Referendum C, Suthers is showing, however faintly, that anti-tax ideology doesn’t work when you have to govern. Maybe it’s a sign that our state’s tax crisis can actually be solved through a combination of compromise and necessity.