The Center for Creative Leadership has announced the members of its 2006 Colorado Springs Leadership Institute program.

The five-day program allows attendees to develop their leadership skills in the “context of challenges facing the Colorado Springs community.”

Since 1997, more than 130 individuals have graduated from the program. This year’s class includes:

Rick Arnold – chief operating officer of Bethesda Ministries

Jennifer Barber – chairwoman of undergraduate day programs at Colorado Technical University

Howard Brooks – vice president of Pikes Peak United Way

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Michael DeMarsche – president/CEO of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Bill Gamble – chairman of the Black Leadership Forum’s economic development committee

Beth Kosley – executive director of the Downtown Partnership

Noreen Landis-Tyson – president/CEO of Community Partnership for Childhood Development

Phil Lane – president of Lane Sales Inc.

Sue Skiffington-Blumberg – director of public communications for the City of Colorado Springs

Gene Sullivan – regional president of Wells Fargo Bank N.A.

Sharon Thomas – superintendent of School District 11

Luis Velez – chief of police of the Colorado Springs Police Department

Author of Fair Tax proposal coming to the Springs

Dan Mastromarco, the author of the Fair Tax Act, will be coming to Colorado Springs on June 13 to discuss the concepts of the fair tax. We will be working with the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce on the details.

Haven’t heard of the fair tax proposal? Neither had I before the chamber’s legislative action mission to Washington, D.C. If you are really interested, I have a 109-page document you can make copies of.

The proposal has been introduced as the Fair Tax Act of 2005 in the 109th Congress. (H.R. 25 in the House of Representatives and S. 25 in the Senate.)

The Fair Tax Act of 2005 would repeal the following:

  • The federal individual income tax (including capital gains taxes and the alternative minimum tax)
  • The federal corporate income tax
  • Federal payroll taxes (including Social Security and Medicare taxes)
  • The self-employment tax
  • The estate and gift tax

Anyone who professes to despise the complexity of income tax should embrace the fair tax. No other plan that has been developed or could be developed would eliminate wasteful compliance costs quite like the fair tax. By imposing taxes at the cash register, the fair tax would wholly exempt individuals from ever having to file a return, according to the briefing. If no one except the self-employed would have to file a return what impact could this have on the U.S. Postal Service?

I am not going to debate or even provide details about how the act would do away with the IRS as we know it today. I could only scratch the surface in this space. You can check out for the details.

When I think of our national perception, wouldn’t it be a good thing if we as a community got behind the fair tax and became nationally known as the city that supported the fair tax as a group? Now, getting everyone rowing in the same direction is probably a pipe dream, but it could be worth considering.

Details will soon be coming about Mastromarco’s visit.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at or 329-5202.