We can all agree that we love the trails and open spaces in Colorado Springs. The question is whether taxpayers, who have experienced tough times financially, should both increase the overall sales tax rate and at the same time double the amount of the portion of sales taxes that goes to trails and open spaces. That’s what the City is asking for with Issue 2C on this November’s ballot.
Rising housing costs, inflation in the prices of the goods we use every day, and increased property taxes have all had a negative impact on households.
We hear from Trails and Open Spaces (TOPS) that their fund has not had a rate increase since 1997. That is true. But because of the increase in businesses in Colorado Springs that have collected sales taxes since then, TOPS money has increased significantly.
For example: In 2010, the TOPS portion of Colorado Springs city sales taxes was just under $6 million. But this year, TOPS has brought in over $6 million just through July. That is because of the significant increase in the amount of all sales taxes collected. As the whole goes up, so does the part that goes to TOPS.
Sales tax collections are up 30% over this time last year, thanks to Colorado Springs now capturing sales taxes for online purchases for companies such as Amazon. The housing industry has also contributed with sales taxes pouring in from building materials as we see all the new developments in the area. The increased sales tax collections have already meant a huge increase to TOPS funding. Now is not the time to take more money from the pockets of Colorado Springs residents. Vote no on 2C.
Rebecca Marshall is a Colorado Springs resident and co-founder of SpringsTaxpayers.com.
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