This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric.
More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.
The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.
Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.
Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.
City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won’t pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.
“I guess we’re going to find out what the tolerance level is for people,” said businessman Chuck Fowler, who is helping lead a private task force brainstorming for city budget fixes. “It’s a new day.”
This should be interesting. All those folks who voted for the Tabor Amendment will now gets to see what a government being required to split any budget surplus among the citizens (and thanks for my $27.50, I'm getting a breakfast burrito and a Big Gulp!) looks like in practice. While the teabaggers yell about taxation they are unconcerned that they, the middle class, the little guy - are the ones who end up taking it in the shorts.
On a federal level, letting the Bush tax cuts expire would result in the top 2% earners in the U.S. reverting back to paying their fair share.