Loveland - April 12, 2011

During a council study session Tuesday night Loveland's City Council directed staff to begin the necessary steps to place a measure on
November's ballot to suspend limits placed on the council's power to raise general taxes or increase spending beyond inflation or
population growth without voter approval.  These limits were created by a state constitutional amendment called TABOR (Taxpayer's Bill
of Rights) passed by 54% of Colorado voters in 1992.  

Loveland Councilwoman Carol Johnson made the suggestion by asking whether there was support among her colleagues to "de-Bruce"
the City of Loveland.  The term refers to former Colorado State House Representative from Colorado Springs
Douglas Bruce who is the
author of TABOR.  Johnson commented,
"there seems to be overwhelming support by our citizens for de-Brucing."  
Councilman Daryle Klassen joined in by even suggesting what he called a "
good selling point" for de-Brucing Loveland given
the city's current budget deficit and projected reduced spending in oncoming years.

Johnson told her colleagues the city's transit occupancy tax required considerable effort and lobbying before the language was
ever presented to voters.  Johnson encouraged early advocacy and organizing to ensure a measure repealing TABOR limits for
Loveland officials could pass in November.  Johnson also commented that this is a "
good year" to place the repeal or suspension
of TABOR on Loveland's municipal ballot because, "
If Doug Bruce goes to jail and no other issues are on the ballot..."
she stated laughingly it could pass easily.

Rene Wheeler responded by saying the city's volunteer Finance Advisory Committee members are already helping in the effort by
visiting local service clubs to "
educate" the members about the need to "de-Bruce" Loveland.

Curiously, the Republican majority on Loveland's City Council were enthusiastic and vocal in their support of  the idea while the
Democratic members sat mostly quiet.  Traditionally, TABOR receives more support from Republicans while local Democrats
have been critical of the tax and spending limits placed on municipal governments by TABOR.  

Mayor Cecil Gutierrez queried his colleagues for any objections and after hearing none publicly directed Loveland's City
Manager Bill Cahill to begin preparing the necessary ballot language for Loveland voters to consider suspending TABOR limits
for the City of Loveland.  Because the meeting was a study session no formal vote was recorded but the staff direction instead
was made by unanimous consent -- meaning no member of the council objected.  The city staff will now begin taking the
necessary steps of drafting the appropriate resolution for council to approve during a future regular meeting of the city council.

Loveland's Deficit

While struggling with a projected annual $3.5 million deficit for future years, the council declined staff inquiries earlier in the same
meeting of whether placing sales tax increases or property tax increases on Loveland's November ballot to increase city revenue
should be explored.  Instead, the budget conversation for most of the evening centered on a mix of reducing spending while also
increasing fees across the board for Loveland residents to reduce the projected budget deficit.  Because fees are considered a
direct charge for services provided by the city, increases in city fees do not require voter approval under TABOR.
Council Directs Staff To Prepare Ballot
Measure Repealing TABOR Limits
Loveland's Deficit Problem

The City of Loveland’s net expenses will
be $67.1 million next year while net
revenue is projected to be only $64
million.  The $3 million revenue shortfall
will grow in future years according to the
same projections unless spending of
general fund monies (services) are reduced
or revenues (taxes) increase.

Read what staff proposed so far while
adhering to guiding principles adobted by
council of balancing spending cuts with fee

staff presentation
Note the "118 vehicle" reduction was an
error.  Only a reduction of 30 vehicles was

Financial Suggestions
Councilwoman Carol Johnson
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