Letter: Grand River board opposes 60, 61, 101

At the July board meeting, the Grand River Hospital District Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution opposing proposed Amendments 60 and 61 as well as Proposition 101. This action was taken after carefully considering the financial impact on the district both now and in the future.
The desire to control the growth of taxation is not a bad goal in itself. However, this board believes that the authors of Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101 have lost sight of a community’s right to grassroots, local governance. Passage of these amendments and proposition will take the majority of Grand River Hospital District’s important financial decisions out of the hands of your local elected officials, voters and taxpayers and let them be made by disinterested voters across the state.
Please ask yourselves if you really want the rest of the state to dictate how our district is to be operated and managed. Decide for yourself whether you want someone from the Front Range making decisions about your local healthcare.
Amendment 60
Amendment 60 would amend the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) portion of the Colorado constitution. It would include several major changes to property tax policy. Out of the three ballot measures discussed in this letter, Amendment 60 will most impact Grand River and our ability to provide local healthcare.
Voters in our district voted in 1961 to give the funds needed to ensure healthcare in the area, resulting in the formation of Grand River Hospital District. In 1993, the voters affirmed that decision by allowing Grand River Hospital District to receive funds past the TABOR limit. Amendment 61
This amendment would severely limit, and by some interpretations, prohibit government spending. This measure would limit state and local bonding.
Amendment 61 would re-affirm the 1876 ban on state debt and harshly limit local bonded debt. It would eliminate any type of financing that state government uses to pay for big projects over time. This would include any hospital projects (new buildings such as for E. Dene Moore Care Center) financed through agencies and financing authorities of state government.
Proposition 101
Proposition 101 would cut the income tax rate over several years from 4.63 to 3.5 percent. When fully implemented, Prop 101 would reduce state income tax revenues by $1.2 billion a year. This measure will be primarily implemented through the lowering of ownership taxes and license fees on motor vehicles.
Before you vote, please study the potential impact of these ballot measures on Grand River Hospital District and the communities we serve. Gather information (two websites of interest are www.cml.org and www.bellpolicy.org.) Read those opinions and reach your own conclusion, which we believe will be the same as ours: These are not good for our district!
Board of Directors
Grand River Hospital District
Rifle