Tax-Cutting, Government-Restricting Ballot Initiatives Bad for Colorado, Bad for Schools

There is a big fight gearing up in Colorado over three ballot initiatives – 60, 61 and 101. The initiatives promise tax cuts, controlled spending and borrowing and drops car registration taxes. The initiatives sound like a great idea, until you look closer at what they will do to Colorado and our public schools.

Amendment 60 will change Colorado’s constitution. It will cut property tax rates and allow voters to challenge the government to lower their property taxes. It will require the state to replace K-12 education funding each year and will overturn previously agreed to mill levy increases. It will require the state to replace the education funding, but does not give a allocation of where the funding will come from. Amendment 60 will cut local support for schools in half.

Amendment 61 will also change Colorado’s constitution by stopping the state from taking on debt in the form of loans. All projects, including building and improving schools, roads, bridges, etc would have to be financed by the public at the time it was being improved or built.

Proposition 101 will change state law to lower state income tax, reduce car registration fees to $10, lower car sales taxes and licenses fees and will eliminate all taxes on phones except for 911 service. It sounds great. Until you stop and think about the money that is generated and used from these fees and taxes. They fund public services like schools, police, fire and libraries.

If these three ballot measures pass, the state will have a difficult time functioning and the deficit will grow exponentially. Schools and districts, already hurting and making deep cuts will lose more funding. In 2008, Colorado already ranked 48th in the nation for K-12 education funding. These initiatives will only hurt Colorado students from preschool through college even more. I’m urging all of my Colorado readers, educators, parents and voters to vote no on Amendments 60 and 61 and Prop 101.

For more information click on the links below.

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