2016-10-24 by B Partain
Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce board issues pro-business ballot issue positions

The Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors has taken pro-business and pro-community stances on several ballot issues, most recently three Boulder County tax proposals that will be among a plethora of issues voters will decide by Nov. 8.  Many voters have just received their ballots in the mail.

“We’re known as the Voice of Business in the Longmont area,” Chamber Chair Kyle Snyder said. “All our positions were vetted by the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, then sent on to the full board for a vote.”

Here’s the update on the latest Chamber board positions, and a recap of positions announced over the past several months. More information on each position is available at the Chamber website, www.longmontchamber.org

Three of the four Boulder County ballot issues have tax implications. The Longmont Chamber board has voted its opposition to those three issues – IA Subdivision Roads, IB Open Space Tax Extension and 1C Sustainability Tax Extension.  “All of these have worthwhile intentions,” Snyder said. “But this is an opportunity to insist that taxing entities live within their means.”

The Chamber voted in September to oppose Amendment 70, which would raise the minimum wage from its current $8.31 per hour to $12 per hour by 2020.  The Federal minimum wage is currently $7.25.

“From an employee standpoint, the proposal might sound good, but this has a high probability of hurting many member businesses to the point they may have to shut down,” Snyder said.  “Recent measures in other cities and towns across the US have resulted in the layoff of thousands of workers. Not only is this bad for business, but bad for the employees who rely on this income. We support higher wages for our community, but not at the cost of businesses and jobs."

The Chamber board is supporting local measure 3A, the St. Vrain Valley School District Bond. “Public education plays a tremendous role in our community’s ability to attract and retain businesses, create well-paying jobs and adequately serve our community’s families and those moving to our area,” Snyder said of the $260 million capital construction bond issue.

The Longmont Chamber board voted in August to support Amendment 71 – also known as Raise the Bar.

“This initiative preserves voters’ rights to propose changes and place an initiative on the ballot for the entire state to vote,” Snyder said. “It also simply raises the bar for changing the Constitution. The Constitution should be reserved for fundamental principles, not as an experimental laboratory for groups from across the country to test ideas, then leave the consequences for Coloradans to bear for generations.”

In July, The Chamber board voted to oppose Amendment 69.  The proposal would create a new statewide healthcare system called ColoradoCare that would raise $25 billion in new taxes to fund a new massive government-run health care system.  “That’s the same as the existing entire state budget,” Snyder said.

All Coloradans would pay into this system through payroll and non-payroll income taxes.   “We’re particularly concerned that not only existing businesses, but working families, entrepreneurs and seniors will be hit hard by this new tax burden,” he said.

The Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce is an independent non-profit association of more than 700 local businesses, organizations and individuals.


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