Previous County Officials Fight for Change in TABOR Laws
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The Tax Payer Bill of Rights continues to draw controversy.
Previous Mesa County officials say decisions made in the past border on tax payer fraud and it's affecting us today.
Those officials spoke at Monday’s Mesa County Commissioners meeting and are urging for change. The issue on hand was about how consistent Mesa County has been with the TABOR laws and what they plan to do about it in the future.
“We worked hard to establish the processes when TABOR was implemented, to count all the money that comes in so we could hit our revenue and budget trajections. If we had too much money we gave it back to the tax payer,” said John Crouch, former Mesa County commissioner.
Crouch says the previous Board of Commissioners, when he wasn’t a member, systematically avoided counting money for revenue purposes since they left out certain sales taxes, which in the end, costs tax payer money.
“There is money owed to the tax payers and they just essentially stole it,” said Crouch.
Finical officials say sales tax is the largest revenue subjected to TABOR, and has generated $10 million worth of refunds since the bill of rights was implemented.
Current County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca says TABOR could be rather confusing and that both local and state governments have been working hard to interrupt precisely what it means since its inception.
“That’s our goal here in Mesa County,” said Acquafresca. “To assimilate the requirements of the TABOR amendment into our annual budgeting process correctly.”
But for Crouch and others, they say it's now up to the current board to make up for what they believe to be poor decisions made in the past.
“It’s embarrassing. The integrity is gone,” said Crouch. “What I hope this new board does is take a look at the process that they devised in the past, and essentially cheated the tax payers of Mesa County out of money that rightfully, in the future, should be theirs.”
Current county officials say they are happy to revisit any issues affecting TABOR since legal ideas made in the past for the betterment of the community change over the years.