Brett Barkey makes campaign stop in Lamar
Brett Barkey stopped in Lamar, CO on Wednesday, September 27 as he campaigns for Colorado State Treasurer. He is running on the ballot as a Republican.
Various issues Barkey would work on as State Treasurer include safeguarding state funds, making the office a “center of service” for county, municipal and special district treasurers, serving as the “go-to expert” in financial management for the state legislature and governor and “quickly return unclaimed property to rightful owners,” as stated by Barkey on campaign material.
The candidate noted that unclaimed property falls under the care of the State Treasurer and the process can be lengthy to return it once it is verified who it belongs to but he said that once that is verified, they shouldn’t need to continue waiting to receive that property.
Barkey noted that if elected as State Treasurer, he doesn’t want to approach it by favoring any political party.
“I don’t want to come at it from a partisan angle,” noted Barkey. “We’ve got some long term issues in the state of Colorado that I’d like to help solve,” said the candidate.
He said one of the issues he has been working on is what he calls, Colorado Vision 2030. Barkey said as a state, a conversation needs to take place to look at where the state wants to be in 13 years.
“One of the critical requirements the state treasurer has a little bit of a hand in is the Public Employee Retirement Association,” noted the candidate. He further said the state treasurer sits on that board.
He noted that retiree benefits need to be protected and looking ahead long term to help alleviate “the hemorrhage that keeps growing and growing,” it may be necessary to switch public employees from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan, according to the State Treasurer candidate.
“The second thing I think the state treasurer needs to lead on is there’s a set of constitutional amendments in Colorado that are putting huge pressure on businesses in terms of taxes, on small local governments, school districts, county governments,” said Barkey. He further noted this is forcing a lot of financial responsibility on to the state budget and is the Gallagher Amendment, enacted in 1982, which “Fixes the ratio of residential to non-residential taxes;” Tabor and Amendment 23, “Which fixes the state’s responsibility for funding schools.”
Barkey noted that the Gallagher Amendment fixes at 45 percent of any property tax revenue residential.
“So however high the residential values are going, say on the Front Range they’re skyrocketing,” said the candidate.
Barkey further noted, “The amount of property tax they can collect can only be 45 percent residential, so as that number grows, the tax assessment rate has to come down.”
The candidate commented on this saying this can be great for those on the Front Range where it can be less tax for property owners but he said for rural counties, “That assessment rate drops for the entire state.”
“Because of Tabor, when that rate comes down and it caps what you can do on any other kind of revenue raising,” commented Barkey, so counties such as Moffat County, where Barkey is from, don’t vote for tax increases so this forces them to “Shrink the amount of services they provide in the county,” said the candidate.
The State Treasurer said these are long term and important issues that should be revisited.
He is currently serving as District Attorney in Moffat County; twice being elected to serve as DA in Colorado’s 14th Judicial District. Barkey is a retired Marine Colonel with 25 years of service and he served three tours of duty in Iraq.
Barkey told a story about his second tour of duty.
While they were driving at night in the truck, in a convoy from Baghdad to Fallujah and they were looking over the side scanning with night vision goggles, “A rocket propelled grenade came screaming right at me, it hits the truck right where I’m sitting and I fall back into the seat,” said Barkey.
“The Marines on my left and right thought I’d been hit, and I watched it ricochet. It had not detonated,” said the retired Marine. He said he waited for a pink mist or an ambush to come, and “Nothing happened.” Barkey said they were able to carry on to their destination.
“Why was I spared,” said Barkey. “I reflect everyday on that.” He said to make sense of it to him, “I serve as a legacy for those that didn’t come home.”
For more information about Brett Barkey’s campaign, please visit brettbarkey.com.