Coloradans for Responsible Reform field organizers spoke Oct. 11 at St. Cajetan’s Center prior to the senatorial debate watch party.
The speakers stressed the burden that would be placed on public services, small business and higher education centers if Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 are passed.
According to CRR Field Organizer Matt James, Amendment 60 would cut the amount of property tax going to public services by 50 percent.
Amendment 61 would prevent the state from bonding projects and carrying any debt and would limit local debt. Proposition 101 would cut state income tax from 4.63 percent to 3.5 percent and lower the vehicle registration fee.
“On the surface, a lot of these things may sound really good; they might sound like they’re going to put more money in your pocket. And to a small extent it will,” James said. But, he continued, all three of the measures would have harmful effects on the state’s budget.
Amendment 60 would place a $1.2 billion load on Colorado to pay for schools and take $1.1 billion in revenue from the state, James said. He also added that 90–95 percent of the state budget will go toward K–12 education, leaving only 5–10 percent for everything else, including higher education.
As a result of Amendment 61, all state infrastructure projects, such as roadwork and campus buildings, would have to be paid for up front, James said.
Other consequences of the amendment, he said, would include increases in local taxes to pay for things like schools and fire departments.
Local governments would have to get all bonding requests on a November-election ballot.
“We have Democrats, we have Republicans, we have business interests and labor interests — pretty much everybody across the state believe that these would be tremendously hurtful for our state,” James said.
UCD senior Daniel Wang attended the event and is concerned about how these measures would affect higher education.
“Especially if all three pass, it would be detrimental to [higher] education funding,” Wang said. “The amendments [and proposition] are going to hit education when [education] has already been hit the most.”