Can A City Function on Low Taxes?

Colorado Springs, Colorado has some of the lowest property taxes in the nation, and its heavily right-wing residents like it that way. But with the recession, the lack of tax income is causing some heavy cuts to city services.

Zach Patton explains that city revenue comes primarily from City revenue instead comes mostly from local sales taxes. As a consequence, Colorado Springs is feeling the downturn's effects faster and more sharply than other cities. At the close of 2009, the city found itself facing a nearly $40 million revenue gap for this year.

So the Springs slashed its budget and enacted a series of severe service cuts to save money. One-third of the city's streetlights were turned off to reduce electricity costs. The city stopped mowing the medians in the streets."

Full Story: Colorado Springs' Do-It-Yourself Government



Put In Some Numbers!

I hate articles like this... all discussion about what has happened but no real discussion of the why. It would help to have some actual numbers to compare everything, even if those are subject to manipulation... What it the total budget now? How does that compare to peak years (2007)? How does that compare to 2000? What categories are growing faster than others and why? There are layoffs now, but how many actual layoffs have taken place? How many employees are employed now versus 2007, versus 2000? No mention of these things at all... for the politicians that promoted the tax increase, who are their campaign donors, who are the campaign donors of those who voted against it... who bought and paid for the ballot initiative advertisements, etc.?

Myabe it's too much to ask for campaign donation information in this article, but some basic facts on the actual numbers involved in the budget would help given that is the primary focus of the article. Otherwise, this article is going to elicit everyone's predetermined response of either, "good, government is mostly waste/fraud/nepotism", or "bad, people are greedy and won't pay for the services they demand". Or maybe the whole point of the article is to reinforce everyone's initial response and I am tilting at windmills here?

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