Letter to Editor: Re: Impact of Closing of Private Prisons of S.E. Colorado

 

Dear Editor: 

In the past legislative session HB20-1019 was introduced and passed to find ways to close private prisons in Colorado. Due to the pandemic shutdown this was placed on hold with just a study to commence.  

Crowley County relies on their private prison to furnish 54% of the tax base while Bent County draws 25% of their tax base from private prison. This subject came up in 2013 and was defeated. I assure you that this will be brought up again and we need a strong voice to oppose.  

The Democrats voted in unison for HB-1019 without regard to effects on neighboring counties in rural Colorado in which the workforce own homes and pay taxes to keep schools open and the economy moving forward. The private prison closing in this area would be devastating. Not only do private prisons fill a definite need, but they operate at less expense to the taxpayer and with a growing population in this state, there will be a future need.  

I would ask that you visit with your county officials and get their views on this issue and the effects that closing these private prisons will have on the area. State run prisons do not pay property tax. 

Senator Larry Crowder
District 35 Southern Colorado

 

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