Thursday, July 16, 2009

A fee is not a tax

A new fee has gone into effect on auto registrations. The increase was approved by the legislature to provide funding for road and bridge repairs. The entire world has erupted into a hissy fit. In Colorado there is a law that prohibits tax increases without a vote of the people. Of course the registration increase is not a tax increase. It is a fee increase. Not unlike hunting license fees or emission fees. They are fees and not taxes.

As a former County Commissioner and former Colorado State Representative my phone has been ringing off the wall. (Actually my pocket as I have not had a phone for many years.) People want to recall the state legislature and the governor for going against the state law on tax increases. Can't do it. They did nothing wrong.

People hate this when I say it but Colorado has one of the lowest tax rates in the nation. People come to Colorado from other states and cannot believe how little they pay in taxes. It is true. In fact here in Summit County they are even lower due to the large number (70%) of our property owners who do not live here. They do not eat up services. That leaves the full-time residents to enjoy expensive services that are being paid for by people who don't live here. What a deal.

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