It is an odd year so there isn’t any big politicians running in Colorado but there are important things on this ballot that shouldn’t be overlooked. I already voted and this post is about my voting decisions. Anybody reading in Colorado shouldn’t base their vote on my post alone. This is a link to the blue book sent to Colorado voters: BlueBookPDF. Ballotpedia.org is also a good basic site like Wikipedia just about elections. I would look at any source with caution.
Amendment 66 Public School Funding
Amendment 66 is meant to increase taxes in order to pay more money to schools. This is what is on the ballot. The *# are breaks made by me for explanation.
*1 SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED BY $950,100,000 ANNUALLY IN THE FIRST FULL FISCAL YEAR AND BY SUCH AMOUNTS AS ARE RAISED THEREAFTER BY AMENDMENTS TO THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION AND THE COLORADO REVISED STATUTES CONCERNING FUNDING FOR PRESCHOOL THROUGH TWELFTH-GRADE PUBLIC EDUCATION *2, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, INCREASING THE CURRENT STATE INCOME TAX RATE ON INDIVIDUALS, ESTATES, AND TRUSTS AND IMPOSING AN ADDITIONAL RATE SO HIGHER AMOUNTS OF INCOME ARE TAXED AT HIGHER RATES; *3 REQUIRING THE RESULTING INCREASES IN TAX REVENUES BE SPENT ONLY FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO PRESCHOOL THROUGH TWELFTH-GRADE PUBLIC EDUCATION; *4 ALLOWING ALL TAX REVENUES ATTRIBUTABLE TO THIS MEASURE TO BE COLLECTED AND SPENT WITHOUT FUTURE VOTER APPROVAL; *5 REQUIRING AT LEAST 43% OF STATE SALES, EXCISE, AND INCOME TAX REVENUES BE DEPOSITED IN THE STATE EDUCATION FUND; AND REPEALING CERTAIN EXISTING PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING REQUIREMENTS?
*1 Amendment 66 will likely raise $950 million in first fiscal year in funding for PRESCHOOL to twelfth grade. Some of the ads on TV may give you an impression that it funds from kindergarten.
*2 The tax rate is increasing for everybody but for higher income people more.
*3 The increase triggered by this amendment will only fund preschool through twelfth grade public education.
*4 In Colorado voters have to vote for tax increases and for other things involving taxes under TABOR. This is saying that any future increases caused by law will not be voted on.
*5 43% of the Colorado state’s revenue must be spent on education.
My Conclusion: I voted NO.
The amendment is advertised on TV as a one time tax increase, however the last line states that 43% of the revenue must go to education. Right now in Colorado 40% of the revenue goes to education. The tax likely increases the education portion of the budget to 43% based on this years budget but doesn’t account for future budgets where non-education expenses might have to increase. Tying 43% of the state’s budget in one expenditure isn’t a bright idea. Also the law will change the income tax system from a flat tax to a progressive tax in which I don’t approve.
Proposition AA Marijuana Retail Tax
Colorado passed a law legalizing retail marijuana last year but didn’t attach a tax to the amendment. This is what is on the ballot. The *# are breaks in which I will explain.
*1 SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED BY $70,000,000 ANNUALLY INTHE FIRST FULL FISCAL YEAR AND BY SUCH AMOUNTS AS ARE RAISED ANNUALLYTHEREAFTER BY IMPOSING AN EXCISE TAX OF 15% WHEN UNPROCESSED RETAILMARIJUANA IS FIRST SOLD OR TRANSFERRED BY A RETAIL MARIJUANACULTIVATION FACILITY *2 WITH THE FIRST $40,000,000 OF TAX REVENUES BEINGUSED FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION AS REQUIRED BY THE STATECONSTITUTION, *3 AND BY IMPOSING AN ADDITIONAL SALES TAX OF 10% ON THESALE OF RETAIL MARIJUANA AND RETAIL MARIJUANA PRODUCTS *4 WITH THE TAXREVENUES BEING USED TO FUND THE ENFORCEMENT OF REGULATIONS ON THERETAIL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY AND OTHER COSTS RELATED TO THEIMPLEMENTATION OF THE USE AND REGULATION OF RETAIL MARIJUANA ASAPPROVED BY THE VOTERS, *5 WITH THE RATE OF EITHER OR BOTH TAXES BEINGALLOWED TO BE DECREASED OR INCREASED WITHOUT FURTHERVOTER APPROVAL SO LONG AS THE RATE OF EITHER TAX DOES NOTEXCEED 15%, *6 AND WITH THE RESULTING TAX REVENUE BEINGALLOWED TO BE COLLECTED AND SPENT NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LIMITATIONS PROVIDED BY LAW?
*1 15% tax on wholesale marijuana.
*2 First $40 million being used for public schools and capital construction.
*3 Add additional 10% tax on retail marijuana
*4 Money will be used to implement regulations on marijuana.
*5 Both of the excise and retail tax can be decreased or increase up to 15% tax rate.
*6 Money can be spent by state for anything.
My Conclusion: I voted NO
This tax is called a SIN tax because marijuana is being tax higher than normal because it is bad for the user like cigarettes. The tax is basically a 25% or more tax on marijuana. The proposition does say that the state can lower tax rate but that is unlikely given politicians record on sin taxes. I am personally against sin taxes although marijuana should be taxed. If this tax proposal is not imposed there is going to be another proposition in later ballots that will have lower tax rates.