And the 2017 Winner is…

Calfornian_of_the_Year_plaque-500x450

Today, Thursday, December 28th 2017 – the Independence Institute proudly awards the 2017 Californian of the Year to Colorado State Senator – Jerry Sonnenberg.

Colorado character is best described as craving the freedom to make our own decisions. By contrast, Californian character, which is taking hold of our once ruggedly individualistic, freedom-loving state, is best described as making decisions for other people.

Nothing in 2017 exemplifies this Californian value of making decisions for others better than Jerry Sonnenberg’s Senate Bill 17-267 which ripped away all Coloradans’ right to vote on tax and debt increases.

Unlike California, Colorado holds a deep belief in asking voters directly BEFORE raising debt or taxes. We even enshrined it in our state constitution. By calling a massive hospital bed tax a “fee” and labeling debt as “Certificates of Participation,” Sonnenberg’s bill raised taxes by $550 million per year and put Colorado families in debt by nearly $2 billion, all while avoiding a vote of the people.

This immense Colorado tax increase takes place in the shadow of the historic tax cut from the Republican-led U.S. Congress. We find it telling, yet sad, that Republicans in Washington have more respect for Colorado taxpayers than the state Republican senate leadership who turned Sonnenberg’s Californian idea into law.

We wish to thank all five of our Californian of the Year nominees, including fan favorite Jared Polis for his “goal” of 100% renewable energy by 2040 – an idea that even California rejected.

We will present Senator Sonnenberg with the stunning Californian of the Year plaque when he returns to Denver to start the next legislative session. Please stay tuned for details of the presentation.

Please join us in congratulating Jerry Sonnenberg as the 2017 Californian of the year!

Think Freedom!

Jon

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Independence Institute – Awards 2017

Tomorrow we announce which Coloradan wins our 2017 “Californian of the Year Award.”   That’s the person that best exemplifies the effort to transform our once liberty-loving state into East California.
The Colorado Character is craving the Freedom to make your own decisions. The Californian Character is making decisions for other people.  Last week we announced our five finalists:
Christine Berg, Mayor of Lafayette, for her leadership and vote to make Lafayette the first city in Colorado to bar local restaurants from advertising “sugar drinks” on kids’ menus.  (Click Here)

Jared Polis, gubernatorial hopeful, multi-millionaire, and US Congressman for his goal to out Cali Cali with his “goal” of 100% renewable energy by 2040 at a cost of only $44 billion.   (Click Here)

Brandon Rietheimer, citizen activist, Bernie-sycophant, and manager of a Red Robin restaurant, for his work in forcing Denver building owners to plant lawns on their roofs.  (Click Here)

Jerry Sonnenberg, state senator, conservative when in his rural home district and liberal when under the gold dome for destroying TABOR by raising taxes and debt to all Coloradans without asking voters first. (Click Here)

Aidan Cook, animal rights activist, and snazzy millennial-beard aficionado for his efforts to end the time-honored and children-loved activity of “mutton-busting” at the Western Stock Show.  (Click Here)
The winner will be chosen by our panel of judges, but you can spout off in our poll on ThinkFreedom.org.

Let’s celebrate those who are turning us into East California!
Think Freedom
!

CMC – Colorado’s Marxist College

FACT:  Also known as Colorado Mountain College – CMC today enjoys an entitlement that is directly funded by you, your family and your business.  Taxpayers and Businesses that don’t even attend CMC – are required to pay.

Their entitlement manifests itself in the form of a Property Tax Mill Levy of – 3.997 Mills in Eagle County, Colorado today.

Colorado's-Marxist-College-22OCT2017

FACT:  Your November 2017 Eagle County Ballot – has a new Tax Question (4B) – where CMC is asking YOU for even more of your hard earned money…via their request for an even HIGHER Mill Levy – with no exact increase figure given!

FACT:  Colleges and University’s all over America face funding problems all the time.  And they deal with them by the (tried and true – American way) of raising what they charge for TUITION.

Question:  Why is CMC asking Taxpayers (who don’t even attend) CMC for more of their hard earned money?  This isn’t “Americanism” it’s “Marxism”.  Their Ballot Question is genuine “Income Redistribution” right out of their “Little Red Book” of Socialism.

Question:  What are these CMC “Educators” teaching our Kids?  Free Market based Capitalism?  Or the fundamental(s) of Socialism?  How much of this Property Tax Increase will go into the Pockets of these so called Educators – in the form of their Salary and (Medical Insurance) Benefits and Pensions?  Their Ballot Language – certainly doesn’t disclose that.  By the way…how’s your Pension looking today – Social Justice Warrior?

It’s time to put YOUR Education to work for you.  It’s time to THINK about what these CMC Marxists are REALLY asking you to vote for…

4B-1

 

 

 

Altruistic Local Campaign Endorsements? Not Really

by  Clayton Moore

Sometimes your have to “look under the covers”.

In this case the documented information – was hidden (discovered) “out in the open” – specifically online at the the Eagle County School District’s (monthly Check Register) time frame: Circa 2016

It is an excruciating and tedious job looking through their spending Check Register – however the ECT did find some things worth reporting.

DISCLAIMER:  ECT not telling anyone how to Vote on the School District Tax Ballot questions.

What the ECT discovered…

The so called “Walking Mountains Science Center” (staff) – has written more then (1) letter encouraging Voters to Vote for the District’s (2) Ballot Questions – that constitute the largest single Property Tax increase in the history of Eagle County.

So?

So, what the ECT discovered reviewing the District Check Register is that Walking Mountains can accurately be described as “a business partner” of our School District.  Plenty of District money being paid for monthly School “Field Trips” to the Walking Mountains campus in Avon.  Just so you know.  ECT will not make a “value judgment” on this arrangement – only to report that it happens.  A lot.  (Click on the Graphic Below) to enlarge it.

image

Our School District also saw fit to spend your hard earned Tax Money you paid them to buy “ONE Table” at the Walking Mountains “Taste of Nature” event.  $3,000.00  (Click on the Graphic Below) to enlarge it.

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Vail Resorts has also been a VERY VOCAL SUPPORTER of the District’s Proposed Tax Increases – Isn’t that right – Ms. Kristin Kenny Williams (VP, Mountain Community Affairs – Vail Resorts)

Vail Resorts also enjoys a friendly Business Relationship with our School District as well.  A payment from the District’s coffers for $10,950.00 last April 2016 – presumably for “Learn to Ski” services from the month before in March 2016.  (Click on the Graphic Below to enlarge it)

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So just keep in mind as you work to complete your Ballot – not every letter of endorsement is based on Unselfish, Altruistic interests…

To review a very brief summary of what the ECT discovered in our School Districts – Taxpayer funded check register  (Click Here)

-CM

 

 

 

 

Eagle County – Divided

by  Clayton Moore

Eagle County – Divided?  Well the Hatfields and the McCoys had nothing on each other – when compared with Eagle County, Colorado today.

Eagle-County-Logo-LeftThe evidence of this (competing Tax Feuds?) will be delivered to you via U.S. Mail this week, when your Ballot arrives.  It’s due back by Tuesday, November 8th 2016 – National Election day.

This week the ECT will share some of the TAX FACTS about this election – that neither the Hatfields nor McCoys seems to want to expose.

Ballot Issue (1A) – wants you to vote yourself a tax increase in order to support – “More Affordable Workforce Housing.”  Part of the money raised targeted to “buy land” to put Affordable Workforce Housing on.

KEEP IN MIND:  You’re already paying Eagle County Taxes – to take developable land OFF THE MARKET.  It’s called the Eagle County Open Space Tax – and your paying that today!  And tomorrow, too!

CONGRATULATIONS EAGLE COUNTY! – your own County Government hasEagle-County-Logo-Right-Side grown so BIG – they they want you to pay to take developable land OFF THE MARKET – at the same time – you’ll be paying new Taxes to BUY LAND on the Market – to be developed!  It’s True, and the ECT insists this is NUTS.

Next up: Ballot Issue (3A & 3B) – our Public School District’s proposed Tax increase – is the largest proposed Tax Increase in the history of Eagle County.  The projected repayment cost of 3B alone (it’s in the Ballot language) is $233 Million – that will be attached to your Residential and Commercial Property…until the next time our School District – insists they have to have more of your families and business hard earned income.

ECT Question:  How does raising your Property Taxes – make anything more affordable?  Don’ worry Renters!  Your current Landlord will have something to say about your next years, Rent – if this new Tax passes…

Ballot Issue (1B) – Wants to Tax you an additional $32.7 Million for the purpose of expanding the “Eagle Valley Bike Trail”.  ECT hopes our readers already own a Mountain or Street Bike – because if all these other Ballot Issues pass – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to afford even a “used bike” in the months and years to come.

TAX FACT:  Even if all these proposed New Taxes (were defeated) your Taxes are already GUARANTEED TO GO UP!

How So?  Because the Eagle County Voters – approved a Tax Increase for the Ambulance District as well as the Eagle River Fire District – LAST MAY 2016.  That increase won’t be incurred (read: felt) until your new Property Tax Bill arrives in January 2017!!!

TAX FACT:  Recall how Beaver Creek Resort reacted when May 2016 County Voters voted to increase their cost to run a Ski Resort – Beaver Creek quickly decided to charge ($10.00/day) for Skier Parking – that was formerly, FREE.

ASK YOURSELF:  What the cost of YOUR Snowboarding or Skiing might be raised to should all these proposed new Taxes, pass.  It’s a safe bet that Vail Resorts – will pass on their increased costs (due to Higher Taxes) next year.

ECT will not tell voters “how to vote”.  Only consider points made here – “Cause and Effect” is an economic reality.  One wonders if our School District is teaching our kids about the economic realities of “Cause and Effect”.

All Eagle County, Colorado – School District Salaries posted Online

by     Information from our Eagle County Public School District

First things First.  Thank you Eagle County School District for responding to an “open records request” for this information.  All of our Public School District Employees are paid by the Eagle County Property Taxpayers – making each one of them, YOUR EMPLOYEE.

It is therefore REASONABLE to make this Public Record information available – to the Eagle County voters – when they are being asked to pay more Taxes – to support our Public School District.  ECT will NOT tell Voters how to vote on this Issue.

(Click Here) to download the entire Public School Payrollorganized from the Top Down (890 Employees).  The ECT does not have any specific financial information to share about our School Districts – Benefits (Healthcare, Dental) nor District Pensions at this time.

Per below – 80% of the entire School District Annual Budget is (consumed by) their Salaries, Benefits and EXISTING Debt Service.  Ballot Issue 3B – proposes to increase that Debt Service by an estimated $233 Million more…that will be attached to your Residential and Commercial Property.

This ECSD pie chart from Ms. Sandra Mutchler – CFO Eagle County Public School District.  A very nice lady by the way.

ECSD-Budget

(Click On the Table Below)

ECSD-Payroll

School District’s Superintendent Salary & Benefits

Credit – for this documented information – given to Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass and School District/CFO  – Ms. Sandra Mutchler

Dr. Glass:   “Typically, we figure benefit costs at 33% on top of Salary when budgeting for total compensation costs. Schools are required to offer health and retirement plans — it’s not an optional expense we can cut”.

Our School District reported that our Superintendent – Dr. Jason Glass receives an annual salary of $195,500.00.  Add to that $64,515.00 (33% in Benefits) and an additional/presumed (unknown) amount as a (performance bonus?) for achieving and improving certain test scores of our Students in the District.

Minimum total annual salary:  $260,015.00   ECT suggests that the Dr. Jason Glass family can reasonably afford all these proposed new tax increases.  Can your family?

Below is from a recent/published “straight talk” from Dr. Glass.

ECT finds Dr. Glass number of 33% noticeably higher (more than double) than the number the District’s CFO ( Ms. Sandra Mutchler) passed on to the ECT at 16% in her Pie Chart. (Click Here)

Glass's-Straight-Talk

Outside of our School District (that teaches roughly 9 months of the year) – does anyone know any other Eagle County business (today) that offers their employees a Benefits package of 33% of their Annual Salary?

Just asking.

More Curious Election FACTS:   In November 2006 Eagle County Voters rejected a ballot issue (1A) that would have caused County Taxpayers to pay more in Taxes on what is collectively known today as “Early Childhood Development”.  (Click Here)  Their Ballot Issue/plan was to collect then spend new Taxes on/for children not old enough to attend Public School in Kindergarten.  Recall that Colorado State Statute provides for a “free” and legal Public School Education for children once old enough to attend K-12.  Their (1A) Ballot issue (it didn’t pass) would have LEGALLY allowed your Tax money to be spent on children before they were old enough to attend Public School Kindergarten.

Now 10 Years Later (2016):  Our Eagle County School District is paying Ms. Shelley Smith a reported annually Salary of $84,541.29 for her services as our Administrator of “Early Childhood Education”.

ECT certain Ms. Smith is a very nice lady and works very hard.

ECT just can’t figure out why our School District is paying for Services – earlier rejected by the Voters in 2006.  Can you?  Ms. Smith’s hire date reported to be 7/6/2009.

-CM

 

 

 

 
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