The Time Has Come!
To The Editor:
The time has come for us to send a message to our elected officials asking them to fundamentally change the way in which our government delivers its services.
Those in support of raising the sales tax rate in Estes Park have resorted to the tired, old technique of tax and spend. They want you to believe that by standing together in support of a 25% tax increase, we will have a stronger tomorrow. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In an analysis of 26 peer-reviewed studies done over the last 31 years on the effects of taxes on economic growth, all but three of those studies, and every study in the last 15 years, find a negative effect of taxes on growth. In fact, two of the studies reviewed cautioned that higher consumption taxes negatively affect tourism travel.
So, if tax and spend isn’t the path to a stronger tomorrow, then what is? In 2005, the city of Sandy Springs, Georgia tried something completely different. Sandy Springs privatized all government services except the Police and Fire Departments. The results were astounding. They repaved 90 miles of streets. They have several award-winning parks. Customer service levels have increased. There is no long-term debt and they haven’t ever raised taxes. This was all done in a city of 90,000 people for the original contract price of $25 million a year. By comparison, Estes Park is a town of 6000 people and we spend $34 million.
Mayor Galambos of Sandy Springs, Georgia recommends that towns privatize their services one department at a time. She believes that the most benefit from privatization can be realized by starting with the Public Works Department.
This is not some radical, hair-brained idea. In 2012, the League of Women Voters National Board supported the idea with a privatization position paper stating; “The League believes that some government-provided services could be delivered more efficiently by private entities.”
A stronger tomorrow for Estes Park will come, not from more taxes, but fewer taxes. A stronger tomorrow will come from a more efficient and cost effective way of delivering government services. On April 1st you will have a choice. You can vote for the tired, old tax and spend policies of the past, or you can vote “NO” on 1A and send a message to our town leaders that the time has come for a fundamental change.
Please Vote “NO” on 1A!
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