July 22, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310
Save The Colorado Opposes “Colorado River District” Property Tax Increase To Fund New River-Destroying Dams
Western Colorado: Yesterday, the board of directors of the “Colorado River District”, which is a quasi-governmental water management district that covers a vast swath of Western Colorado, voted to put a doubling of the District’s property tax mill levy on the November 2020 ballot. (See story in Grand Junction Sentinel here.) One of the things the tax would pay for is euphemistically called “infrastructure” which includes new river-destroying dams. In past public statements, the District has clearly stated that the tax would help pay for a huge new dam called the “White River Storage Project” on the White River in northwest Colorado near Meeker.
“We oppose all proposed new river-destroying dams, and we oppose this ‘River Killer Tax'”, said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Colorado. “We are taking a hard look at this tax and what it will fund, and we are reaching out to a variety of stakeholders in Western Colorado who may oppose it. We may form a committee to actively campaign against it.”
The only recent example of a proposed property tax increase to fund new dams in Colorado was rejected by voters. In 2017, voters in the San Juan Water Conservation District voted overwhelmingly (with 75.44% of the vote) to reject a property tax increase for the “Dry Gulch Reservoir”. (See story here.)
“The people of Colorado love their rivers and want to see rivers flowing more freely, not increasingly dammed,” said Wockner. “Raising taxes to dam and drain rivers is two bad ideas rolled into one big dumb proposal that will see a lot of resistance as the election nears.”