Proposition 101

As promised, we are providing a series of emails to explain three important ballot initiatives you will see in the upcoming November election.  They are Proposition 101Amendment 60 and Amendment 61.  These initiatives propose cutting state income taxes; eliminating telecommunication taxes/fees (except 911); reducing property taxes by 50%; voiding local elections; illegalizing state financing/debt; and restricting local government and school district financing.

This information will focus primarily on the impact to education.  But please know – each one of these measures is very far reaching in their impact to Colorado at the state, local, school district and enterprise level (Water Districts, Public Utilities, Sanitation Departments, etc.)

Proposition 101 Components

Limit government charges as follows:

  • Reduce vehicle ownership taxes over 4 years to nominal amounts ($2/new vehicle and $1/used vehicle.)
  • End taxes on vehicle rentals and leases.
  • Phase in over 4 years a $10,000 vehicle sale price tax exemption.
  • Set total yearly registration, license, and title charges at $10/vehicle.
  • Lower State income tax from 4.63% to 4.5% and phasing in a further reduction in the rate to 3.5%.
  • End telecommunication fees/charges.  Except 911.

Summary

For the fiscal year ending in 2009, education spending comprised 51% of the Colorado General Fund (42% for K-12 and 9% for higher education.)  The total General Fund was $7.5 billion.  If Proposition 101 passes, our state government is projected to lose $1.6B in revenue annually (~20% of the General Fund) and local governments will lose over $622M annually by the time the measure is fully implemented.  The total revenue lost in Colorado will exceed $2 billion per year.

Proposition 101 is a severe cut in state and local revenue.  A 20% reduction in the State General Fund will impact all public services such as transportation and roads, our judicial system and prisons, Medicare and Medicaid, Child Protective Services, the Dept of Wildlife and so on.  But education will be the hardest hit because – 51% of the General Fund budget is directed toward education.  It will be impossible to cut the State General Fund by 20% without impacting ½ of the total “pie.”

If you would like to know more about the campaign against Proposition 101 and its broader impact to Colorado, go to www.donthurtcolorado.com. For more information about its impact on education, go to www.greateducation.org.

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who supports strong public education and public services in Colorado.

About Grassroots St. Vrain

GSV is an independent, non profit organization whose vision is a St. Vrain Valley community that is informed about education funding in Colorado and empowered to take action for the benefit of our schools.
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