Letters: Responding to Douglas Bruce’s op-ed on Prop. HH and TABOR

Thoughtful HH debate is necessary

Re: “Do the math when deciding on Proposition HH,” Oct. 29 letters to the editor and “The true cost of raising the TABOR cap will be exponential Proposition HH,” Oct. 28 commentary

I appreciate the thoughtful letters in Sunday’s Denver Post favoring and opposing Proposition HH. The letters were well-crafted and expressed the writers’ points of view clearly and forcefully. They were a definite contrast to the op-ed authored by Douglas Bruce, which appeared in the Saturday paper. His lengthy opposition to Proposition HH contained the terms hate, scheme, cabal, scam, theft-vote, dirty money, fraudulent votes, attempt to buy, corrupt, and attack. I would characterize Bruce’s article as invective only, very short of persuasion.

Mark McGoff, Arvada

Ironically, Douglas Bruce, creator of the TABOR amendment, concluded his recent guest commentary with the directive, “Do it for the children,” while calling for a NO vote on Proposition HH, which would allow the state to retain tax money for education. He certainly didn’t have “the children,” or their education, in mind when he devised his complex measure passed by the state’s tax-averse voters in 1992 against warnings from numerous experts that the amendment would create fiscal chaos in Colorado. Subsequently, state funding for education has steadily dropped in proportion to local funding along with student test scores. A decade ago, Judge Sheila Rappaport described the insufficient funding for education in Colorado as “unconscionable.”

While many Colorado cities and counties have passed legislation to relieve some of the cumbersome burdens of TABOR in a process known as “deBrucing,” two prominent features remain: Voter approval of all tax increases and the mandate of a regressive flat state income tax, currently set at 4.40%, which ensures that lower-income taxpayers bear a disproportionately heavier burden in funding state services, which include K-12 and higher education.

Aware of the facts outlined above, Colorado Fiscal Institute and Great Education Colorado, along with numerous other organizations that support quality education, have endorsed this legislative proposal on the state ballot in the Nov. 7 election. Vote YES on HH. Indeed: Do it for the children.

Frank Tapy, Denver

Seniors will benefit with HH win

I am a 69-year-old retired citizen on a fixed income, and I have lived in my current Denver home for 30 years. Each year, when I pay my property tax, I receive a discount based on my age and length of residence in one house.

Proposition HH allows me to take that discount with me when I move to a new home, which I intend to do in the next few years. Otherwise, when I move, I will lose the discount.

This discount is more beneficial to me, and many others, than the TABOR refund. I encourage all seniors and all those who care about a senior parent or grandparent to vote “Yes” on Proposition HH.

P.S. I donated my last TABOR refund to a food bank, where the need was greater than mine. I encourage all who can afford it to donate their future refunds too.

Pat Matthews, Denver


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