Colorado defeats Proposition 103
VALLEY – San Luis Valley voters mirrored the statewide attitude towards Proposition 103 which was hailed as a resounding defeat at press time.
The only statewide ballot question would have increased sales and income taxes for education.
Local and statewide results available at press time reflected a strong negative reaction to the tax proposal. In Rio Grande County, for example, residents voted 1780 to 763 against the measure. Costilla County electors voted two-to-one (748 to 354) against it.
With 59 percent of the projected vote counted last night statewide, Proposition 103 was trailing 65 percent to 35 percent.
One statewide group opposing Proposition 103, TOO Taxing for Colorado, stated: "Tonight, Colorado voters expressed the common sense view that it's counterproductive to raise taxes in a bad economy. ... It would have added more than half a billion dollars to the Colorado State budget each year by raising taxes on families and small businesses and by increasing sales and use taxes."
Penn Pfiffner, former legislator and chairman of TOO Taxing for Colorado, said, "We all want an effective education for our children, one that prepares them for the future. But we have seen time and again that simply giving more money to the teachers' unions does not improve student performance. That's going to take a serious conversation about how our schools can be better. We hope that the proponents will now join in that conversation."
Learning of the defeat of Proposition 103, Alan Franklin of proponent group ProgressNow Colorado stated, "We and our friends at the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, the Bell Policy Center, Great Education Colorado, the Colorado Education Association, and the rest of the broad coalition in support of Proposition 103 knew we faced long odds--for a short term patch on the state's long-term budget crisis. ... With all this talk about the need for the ‘big solution,' now is the time for our leaders to step up and show it to us so we can get to work passing it next year."
Because Colorado's state constitution forbids lawmakers to raise taxes, the higher tax rates were petitioned onto ballots thanks in great part to the efforts of Democratic Sen. Rollie Heath. Other Democrats, including Gov. John Hickenlooper, declined to get behind the idea.
On the final day of voting, Hickenlooper released his budget proposal for next year, which calls for $89 million in cuts for public schools. Public colleges and universities would get $60 million less.