Take two: Doty now says she’s against the hospital provider fee

The Colorado Independent’s Marianne Goodland reported earlier this year that Republican state senate candidate Nancy Doty had yet to formulate a stance on whether state lawmakers should reclassify the hospital provider fee as an enterprise fund, freeing up over $300 in tax money for roads, schools, and other projects. Goodland reported:

The hospital provider fee isn’t a subject that has come up on the campaign trail, Doty indicated, and although she comes from a strong financial background, she admitted she isn’t quite up to speed on the issue and needs to spend more time looking into it.

“The ironic thing is that we’re talking about money that will solve all the issues once the transfer takes place. I don’t know if that’s the answer,” she said.

Doty’s “strong financial background,” referenced by Goodland, includes being chief financial officer under Gov. Bill Owens.

So how could she not have an opinion on the hospital provider fee, given that it’s one of the top issues facing the state legislature?

Especially now that conservatives have started attacking State Rep. Daniel Kagan, who’s Doty’s Democratic opponent in senate district 26 race, for supporting reclassification of the fee. Surely, Doty is aware of these attacks.

I decided to confirm that she still holds no opinion, as reported by the Independent.

I talked to Doty last week prior to an event at Las Brisas restaurant in Greenwood Village, and she declined to comment on the recent attack on Kagan over the hospital provider fee.

“I haven’t done that, so it’s not my campaign,” Doty said.

Asked if she had a position, Doty said, “I’m against it.”

I didn’t get to ask Doty for details, as she was about to speak at her event, so I don’t know when or why she formulated her stance on the issue. But it raises lots of questions about why she’d be opposed to a tax-free source of funds for roads, schools, etc. etc.

She may have struggled with her stance against the fee in her role as board member of the South Metro Chamber of Commerce, which voted–apparently over Doty’s opposition–to support legislation reclassifying the hospital fee as an enterprise under the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights (TABOR).

The Kagan-Doty race is widely seen as one of the most important state contests this year, with Republicans holding to a one-seat majority in the Colorado senate. A Doty victory would almost certainly thwart the Democrats efforts to take over the state senate chamber, even if State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada) loses her race to Democratic challenger Rachel Zenzinger.

So, needless to say, it’s important for the public to know Doty’s positions on major issues, like the hospital provider fee, especially when she’s told a reporter that she has no position.

Now we know.

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