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Open space is the biggest racket in Boulder County
The following guest opinion by Dave Larison appeared in the Longmont Times-Call on Oct. 11, 2010.
Funny how it seems that every talking point from recent letters and opinions supporting a new county open space sales tax comes right out of the open space propaganda handbook.
“If we don’t buy more open space in Boulder County, we’ll invite Los Angeles-type sprawl!
“We’ll have a sea of rooftops from Denver to Ft. Collins!”
“Open lands will be carved up and sold to developers!”
The bogus “protect from development” open space argument simply doesn’t fly.
There is no risk of intense land development on urban borders or in rural areas. The Draconian land-use laws instituted by the Boulder County commissioners won’t allow it, and the economy won’t support it.
Look at the 700-acre Loukonen land along Foothills Highway west of Longmont that Boulder County has recently agreed to buy as open space for $17 million. If I were to drive by the Loukonen land as it’s privately owned today, it would look no different than when Boulder County buys it as open space.
It will still be off-limits to the public. The elk herd will still migrate over the land in the winter just like before.
So why should Boulder County shell out $17 million to buy this rural land at taxpayers expense, taking it off the property tax rolls and increasing county debt? If anything, my quality of life will be diminished due to the important factor of my pocketbook being squeezed once again.
Realistically, there is no threat of the Loukonen land ever being developed. The county purchase would only go to further Ron Stewart’s bloated open space kingdom. It’s more government intrusion into our lives and markets.
Speaking of taxes, do people realize that if County Issue 1B were to pass, the result would be local consumers having to pay four open space sales taxes to Boulder County and one to Longmont on every retail purchase, phone bill and restaurant meal?
Why should the poor family buying school supplies at Walmart or a meal at McDonald’s be hit with five open space sales taxes? Talk about terribly regressive taxation on lower-income families, all for a luxury government program at the expense of much greater needs.
I’ve been saying it for years and it’s more apparent now than ever. Open space is the biggest racket ever perpetrated on county taxpayers by radical Boulder environmentalists.
Dave Larison has lived in Longmont since 1980.