Colorado Springs Defends Its Turf---and Tax Cuts

February 2010

Bruce, DougIn the weeks since Colorado Springs announced deep cuts to save money, including turning off street lamps, scaling back bus service, and selling police helicopters, the city has become a national example for how local services that many take for granted suffer without adequate tax revenues. Last week, Huffington Post bloggers David Sirota, on the left, and Colorado Springs City Councilman Sean Paige, on the right, outlined the pros and cons of the situation, which is now triggering concern from potential visitors. "It has prompted people who are planning meetings to query us and ask will they be safe when they come to town," Terry Sullivan, president of Experience Colorado Springs, the city's convention and visitor's bureau, tells The Pueblo Chieftain. She says bureau employees tell potential visitors the situation isn't as bad as it has been portrayed in the national media. National Public Radio explores the cuts, gauging the perceptions of locals, many who think Colorado Springs needs to spend its money more wisely. Shirlee Kelley, for instance, wonders if the salaries of city workers are too high. Resident Douglas Bruce, an ardent tax cutter and former state representative, accuses the city of making cuts that would grab national attention. "The government is using its typical tactic of making highly publicized cuts in order to make people feel the pain to some extent," says Bruce (pictured), author of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights, implying that the city wants to raise taxes.