Douglas County, Colorado has two state senators and three state representatives that serve the county’s interests in the state legislature. Douglas County taxpayers pay more in state taxes to fund the government than most other counties because we earn more and Colorado has a flat state income tax.
Using 2007 economic figures, the average Douglas County resident pays 46% more to the state government than the average Boulder County resident. Boulder County has a state senator named Brandon Shaffer who is currently the President of the Colorado State Senate. Although his constituents pay less to fund the Colorado Government than we in Douglas County do, Shaffer is still the man to see because he has control of the state’s purse strings.
This month, Senator Shaffer held a posh two-day retreat for political bigwigs concerning “conflict resolution” and “team building”. He decided that this kumbaya event was important enough to spend taxpayer’s money, including money disproportionately provided by Douglas County taxpayers. This in spite of the fact that the state government is broke and furloughing workers to horde cash. So how many of Douglas County’s five representatives got the gold ticket to attend the posh two day retreat?
none. nada. zilche.
Our county had no representation at this affair. Our county was taxed, and taxed heavily, to provide Mr. Shaffer the money for this affair. It looks an awful lot like “Taxation Without Representation”.
In Boston, back in the 1770’s, a lot of people got pretty upset about this “Taxation Without Representation” business . They got so fed up that one night they stormed aboard a ship and tossed boxes of tea into the harbor. The government in Britain had increased taxes on the colonies to pay for the Empire’s excesses. Sound familiar?
On our Independence day, Saturday, July 4, 2009, there will be a gathering at 100 N. Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, CO behind Town Hall from noon till 2:00 pm. It is the Castle Rock Tea Party, part of a national movement to protest the spending of trillions of dollars which will leave our great-grandchildren a debt they must pay. There will be live music, food, speakers and a military flyover.
Unfortunately political despotism didn’t end with the Revolutionary War. After all, last year State Senator Shaffer wanted to move up to Washington, as the U. S. Congressman from the 4th District. Perhaps a few moments in the private sector would do him some good.
Mike Robinson is Senior Partner at the Castle Rock Law Firm of Robinson & Henry, P.C. Mr. Robinson was assisted in writing this story by Ryan Wood, an Associate with the firm.