TELL IT TO THE CHIEFTAIN
3 Jun 2012--WE ARE concerned that our local democracy is about to be shortchanged.
On May 18, Pueblo was approved to receive a 24.7 percent rebate on future Colorado sales taxes from riverwalk development, which is estimated to be $493,000 annually, or $14.8 million over 30 years.
The Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority now intends to sell bonds toward expanding the convention center to make it a venue for military reunions. City Council will be asked to approve the project. Will it reject the money? Of course not.
But in 2008, Pueblo voters rejected Question 2B, designated “Pueblo Convention Center Expansion” on the official ballot. The expansionists today claim that only a certain method was rejected. But convention center expansion was fought and lost on its merits as a priority for the city.
With poor neighborhoods in decay, a majority of voters opted for an alternative use of our taxes. Perhaps they recognized that the Pueblo Convention Center always operates at a deficit. Maybe they resented subsidizing extreme bare-knuckle boxing and get-rich-on-eBay scams.
They might lack faith that Pueblo will be the military-patriotic hit urban renewal envisions.
Today, they may balk at interest payments on new loans, plus the 75.3 percent on sales taxes we shall still pay. Then and now, many see much better uses for our scarce resources.
The difference is that this time, City Council and urban renewal are not asking us for our opinion.