Hot Sheet

New ad campaign contends Colorado Springs is driven by tax-a-holics

Author: Joey Bunch - October 12, 2017 - Updated: October 12, 2017



A ballot question in November would fund major stormwater improvements in Colorado Springs, but taxpayers are tired of getting soaked, according to a non-opposition group that’s rolling out a radio and digital ad campaign against Question 2A on the November ballot.

“The mayor and a majority of City Council have asked for more money six times in just over two years,” Laura Carno, a conservative activist and founder of founder, said in a statement. “We found a catchy and memorable way to point that out, with a fictional game show called Tax-A-Holic.”

The ad pits a caricature of Mayor John Suthers, a prominent state Republican, against Bill Clinton. (“Bill Clinton is my name and big spending is my game.”)

Question 2A, if voters approve it, would assess residential property owners and renters and extra $5 on monthly utility bills, while non-residential property owners would pay a monthly $30 per acre for the next 20 years.

The city needs $460 million to make stormwater improvements to make sure Pueblo gets the water its entitled to via the the Southern Delivery System pipeline, as well as to satisfy a lawsuit by the Environmental Protection Agency over the city’s neglected drainage system.

The city is making piecemeal improvements using money from its General Fund budget. Suthers and two-thirds of the City Council reportedly back the proposed stormwater fees.

The measure would free up $17 million a year in the city budget, which could be used to hire more police and firefighters, Question 2A supporters contend.

“We need 100 to 120 more cops in the next five years,” Suthers told Colorado Springs TV station KOAA.

And for what it’s worth, Bill Clinton’s game wasn’t big spending. He presided over the second-lowest rate of growth in federal spending during his presidency in the past seven decades, 1.5 percent a year, second to Barack Obama at 1.3 percent, according to the conservative Cato Institute. The big spenders were Lyndon Johnson at 5.6 percent with George W. Bush and John F. Kennedy tied for second at 4.6 percent … for what it’s worth. Clinton did it by working with Republicans on welfare reform, defense cuts and trade deals, with a tailwind of a strong economy in his second term.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.