Tuesday's election didn't go the way we hoped. The Bell strongly supported Proposition 103, and we are deeply disappointed it failed.
We thank those who worked so hard – especially Sen. Rollie Heath, whose leadership, passion and energy made believers out of so many. Thanks also to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy and Great Education Colorado, whose grass-roots campaign turned thousands of Coloradans into activists.
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.
Talk about being off message. In the waning days of state Senator Rollie Heath's campaign to raise taxes by $3 Billion in Colorado through Prop 103, one of the biggest supporters of the ballot initiative, the Bell Policy Center, put out a "study" claiming that Prop 103 won't actually kill jobs (PDF). If the debate is framed over job losses, you can be assured it's not to the advantage of tax hike supporters.
Independence Institute President Jon Caldara has been on a tear recently on state Senator Rollie Heath's (D-Boulder) proposed $3 Billion tax hike known as Prop 103.
From the recently published i2i study hammering home the point that Prop 103 is a job-killer, the second study showing devastating impacts of Prop 103, to convincing a 5-time world Domino champion to visually demonstrate the effect Prop 103 would have on employment, Caldara and the Independence Institute have been absolutely spanking the Boulder Senators' foolish tax hike plan.
Proposition 103 on November's ballot will raise about $500 million annually for education over the next five years. It does this by increasing Colorado's income tax rate from 4.63% to 5% and the state sales tax rate from 2.9% to 3%. These are the rates that existed throughout the 1990s – a period of strong economic growth in Colorado.
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%.
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.
We're looking to spark a good conversation – on the state budget.
After three years of cutbacks, after cutting K-12 and higher education, after closing state parks and prisons, more and more Coloradans are asking questions about state finances and our fiscal challenges.
We think Coloradans want to talk about the state budget.