Now that we've studied proposed initiatives: Danger is imminent
We wrote you recently about ballot initiatives that could blow a permanent and gaping hole in the state budget -- and lock Colorado into a permanent recession.
At the time, petitions for two proposed measures had been turned in. Now, petitions for a third are in, and what we face is a triple play of peril.
We are writing today to update you on what we know about these measures and what they would do. To be blunt, they are worse than we thought.
The Bell has finished a preliminary analysis of two of the three measures, and we are working on the third. Here's what we know so far:
- Proposed Initiative 10 is intended to repeal Referendum C; establish new, much lower limits on state and local spending; reinstate the TABOR ratchet effect; and cut state and local public services by a total of more than $2 billion a year. You can read more of our preliminary analysis of Proposed Initiative 10 here.
- Proposed Constitutional Initiative 21 would ban the use of any kind of debt by the state of Colorado and greatly limit the amount of debt issued by local governments. We believe Colorado would become the only state in the nation without authority to issue debt. In tangible terms, this means crumbling schools, fewer rec centers and libraries, overcrowded colleges ... the list, of course, could go on and on. You can read more of our preliminary analysis of Proposed Initiative 21 here.
We are still studying Proposed Initiative 12. Based on what we know so far, we can say that this measure would set stricter limits on property taxes than currently imposed by TABOR. It would cripple local governments in their ability to raise revenue by overriding all local de-Brucing elections; apply a 10-year limit on all property tax increases; and put in place a mechanism where taxpayers could petition for tax cuts on the ballot of every election. It would also require local school districts to cut their mill levy rates in half by 2020, with local revenue to be replaced by the state.
The Bell is working closely with a growing coalition of organizations and citizens that is forming to fight these measures, and we will do all we can to provide the quality analysis, education and advocacy needed to defeat the anti-government interests behind this effort. Please consider making a donation today to help in this critical effort.
When we have completed our analyses, we will publish more detailed briefs on each of the measures. We hope to have these done before the end of the year, and we will share them with you as soon as they are ready.