Letter to the editor: Big “NO” on 3A school bond “limitless tax $$$ hike”

With a Rio Grande County budget of around $20 million annually, how can taxpayers afford to build a new $45 to 60 million large educational metro complex in little Del Norte, Colorado? We are told that our cost share would be around $18 million, but when have school construction contractors stayed within budget? Could it really cost 20 to 30 million or more? The stated property tax increase of $125.00 per $100,000.00 evaluation is ridiculous. Bond rates rise and fall, and the voting ballot reads, “THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MAY DETERMINE; AND SHALL AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAXES  BE LEVIED (WITHOUT LIMIT) AS TO THE MILL RATE TO GENERATE AN AMOUNT SUFFICIENT IN EACH YEAR TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL OF, PREMIUM IF ANY, AND INTEREST ON SUCH DEBT AND TO FUND ANY RESERVES FOR THE PAYMENT THEREOF?” Your property taxes could double, triple, or GO THROUGH THE ROOF!

Our county attorney should examine the legality of this ballot measure. It violates TABOR (The Taxpayers Bill of Rights, which limits taxation). Yes, it’s a bond (partially). But a BIG Tax Increase would fund the remainder of the bond (the portion not covered by the BEST grant funds). What would the bond interest be? If they estimated a 6 percent bond rate, and its 9 percent; they will need 33 percent more tax revenue to fund the repayment. Again it’s a “limitless proposal” (a blank check).

The Del Norte High School and Middle Schools are newer buildings; so why do they need to be replaced? The C-7 School District had several million dollars in capital reserves in 2015-2016 and could have built a new K through 4 grade school building (or could have at least refurbished  and upgraded the existing buildings) for 2 to 4 million with cash on hand. Some of the newer buildings have vacant classrooms being used for storage. I’ve seen them. Denver has promised educational funds in the past only to do a “bait and switch” leaving local county governments scrambling to make up budgetary short falls. Liberals, moderates and conservatives should reject this “Sky’s The Limit” tax hike; and it’s for 20, 30, or 40 long years, because it’s attached to a school bond. Do you really want to pass this kind of tax burden and financial liability on to our school kids?  They will have to pay for it also!


R. Marshall Boyd Sr.   
Del Norte


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