You'll be getting your ballot any day now, and we'd like to remind you of two important issues.
One is Proposition 103, the only statewide measure this year. It would raise $536 million each year through 2016 to halt steep cuts to K-12 and higher education. Colorado's tax rates would temporarily return to 1999 levels, with the sales tax rising from 2.9% to 3% and personal and corporate income taxes increasing from 4.63% to 5%.
LONGMONT – Across Colorado, voters are being asked to decide one statewide issue this November: whether to raise taxes to increase public education funding.
The measure, introduced by state Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, seeks to restore Colorado's sales, use and income taxes to 1999 levels: Sales and use tax rates would be 3 percent, up from 2.9 percent – a 3.4 percent increase – and the income tax rate would be 5 percent, up from 4.63 percent – an 8 percent increase – for five years beginning in January.
Opponents of a statewide ballot measure that would raise an estimated $3 billion in new taxes to fund education launched an attack against the proposal this week, claiming it will cost Colorado 119,000 jobs after five years and deal a "crushing blow" to the state's struggling economy.
But backers of Proposition 103 charged that opponents don't understand how to interpret their own data and countered that it's cutbacks to school funding, not higher taxes, that will harm the state's economy.
The political fight over raising state taxes to fund schools and colleges started in earnest Thursday with dueling news conferences over an opposition study about the possible impact of Proposition 103 on employment.
While supporters of the Nov. 1 ballot measure have been organized for some time – they had to gather signatures to get the proposition on the ballot – Thursday also marked the coming-out party for a Republican-oriented opposition group, Save Colorado Jobs.
It's refreshing to see Coloradans tackle a problem and work toward a solution. That's what we witnessed today when supporters turned in more than 142,000 signatures for a ballot proposal that would raise $536 million each year through 2016 to halt steep cuts to education.
Imagine that – actually raising millions of dollars for K-12 and higher education. This, of course, comes after years of cutting millions from education.
The Bell Policy Center board of directors has endorsed the Bright Colorado initiative to temporarily return state tax rates to the level they were in 1999 while the state searches for a more permanent solution to its long-term structural deficit.