Letter to the Editor: State budget deficit is unacceptable

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Dear Editor:

The Colorado budget is $3 billion in the hole and the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) posted its “Staff Budget Balancing FY 2020-2021” document, April 11, 2020.

Our State Senator Bob Rankin is on the JBC and has signed on to the recommendation to suspend The Homestead Tax Exemption to free up $163,578,262 toward decreasing the budget deficit.

While the law took effect in 2002, legislators voted not to fund it in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011. This exemption has allowed many owners to remain in the homes they love.

Section 3.5 of Article X of the Colorado Constitution grants the property tax exemption to qualifying senior citizens and disabled veterans. The property tax exemption is 50.0 percent of the first $200,000 of actual property value.

The $3 billion deficit does not take into account the effects this COVID19 pandemic will have on our state. This 2020 legislative session began $100 million in the red just from the READ Act and full-day kindergarten funding. From there, the numbers increased to the current $3 billion.

It is objectionable to place a burden on seniors and disabled veterans because the state overextended itself.

The JBC also recommends suspending the annual PERA direct distribution freeing up $225 million. Ask Sen. Rankin how he can consider a decision that can affect public employee retirees.

Colorado is required to have a balanced budget and is important to remind legislators that they spend our money. To add a greater burden on Coloradans, particularly with this pandemic, is unacceptable.

Debra Irvine

EDITOR’S NOTE: Debra Irvine is running for election to the Colorado State Senate to represent District 8, the seat currently held by state Sen. Bob Rankin. Irvine is on the ballot in the Republican primary on June 30, 2020.

1 Comment

  1. Where do you think the money is going to come from, Debra? They have to find 3.3 billion dollars. There’s no magic money tree to shake, and the budget has to balance. Unless the Feds give the state funds for the budget, I’d suggest you comb through the budget documents that they’ve been working with for months and find a couple billion dollars of programs to cut that won’t burden Coloradans. I doubt you’ll find much.

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