Broken city

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Funds shortfall slams Colorado Springs; is NM next?

By Harold Morgan

Colorado Springs is broke.

A friend, driving in Colorado Springs recently, hit a pothole and did $400 in damage to her car. “They’re not fixing the streets!” my friend says angrily.

It’s just possible my friend was going a tad too fast, perhaps operating on previously true assumptions of flat street surfaces. Certainly, going less fast is one short-term means of dealing with potholes.

The Colorado Springs situation raises questions about the proper role of government.

The city is a libertarian and tea party bastion. A Republican receiving less than 60 percent of the vote is considered to have lost. A July 4 Denver Post report said, “There is the residents’ difficult relationship with taxation. In short, they don’t like it and reject it whenever possible.”

Some months ago Colorado Springs rejected a tax increase to cover what the Post called “routine services.”

For the just-completed budget year, revenues were down $16 million and pension and health costs up

$8 million.

Colorado Springs’ 4.279 mill property tax rate is one-sixth that of Denver, land of Lo-Do, the Broncos, Rockies baseball, architecturally aggressive museums and a botanic garden temporarily full of Henry Moore sculptures.

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