Proponents who claim the Taxpayer Bill of Rights will not cut budgets if it is enacted need remedial math training. While the language of TABOR does not explicitly mandate cuts, the reality is that cuts will occur.

Here’s why:

Cities like Lewiston and Auburn provide services. Services require people to provide them. The cost of providing services is dominated by human resource costs, as opposed to the cost of a physical product like a bulldozer, which is dominated by materials.

Health insurance is the fastest-growing human resource cost.

Anthem recently announced that it is seeking a 20.5 percent increase in its premium rates, a growth rate nearly six times the rate of inflation. This is the sixth consecutive year of double digit increases in premiums. What impact would such increases have on fire protection services under TABOR?

Assuming an inflation rate of 3.5 percent, the fire department would have to cut somewhere to make up for the remaining 17 percent increase in health insurance cost for its personnel.

What would you cut?

Personnel?

We won’t have them when we need them.

Equipment? What if your child or elderly parent’s life one day depended on that piece of equipment?

Health insurance? You won’t have firefighters.

The cuts would happen year after year after year, strangling our fire department such that it could be drowned in a bathtub.

TABOR doesn’t work. It will hurt our families. It is a restrictive measure that usurps local control.

I’m voting no on One.

John Henderson, Auburn



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