Vote Down the Statewide Measures. Here’s why.

Content on this page is provided by Skip Madsen and reflects input from multiple sources

Proposition 119

• Raises taxes under the promise of providing aid to education for underserved students. But creates a new government bureaucracy with no standards beyond what their own board determines, with no public no control or accountability. 

• It will spend and waste hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.  Although tax revenues are collected locally, there is no guarantee that the money will fund local programs or that it will be spent equally or equitably across the state.

• It turns public funds into a private commodity, which is a voucher by any other name, for some people’s kids.  

• Over the next ten years, this neo-voucher will take close to $70 million from Colorado’s K-12 funding to pay for out-of-school programs that have not proven to be effective in other states. 

• These cuts will reduce teacher salaries and provide less money for school supplies, transportation, and school renovations.

 • Proposition 119 creates a politically appointed board with no oversight or transparency and gives it the authority – not the local school board you voted for – to decide what programs get funded, where the programs are located, and which students get the money.

• Proposition 119 even allows its unelected board of trustees to spend up to 10% of its annual budget on administrative costs. The annual administrative budget of the Authority, ($10.9M) is nearly twice the annual budget of the entire Colorado Department of Education, ($5.79M FY 2021-2022).

• Misleads the voters by saying that the revenue raised through this proposition will be utilized to help low-income children improve their academic performance. In fact, it only attempts to do so for the first year.  After year one of its implementation, all students regardless of economic stature can access these dollars, and they need not spend them on academic programs.  

• A vote for Proposition 119 allows public money to be directed to private out-of-school (and often out of state) service providers (including religious based schools) instead of investing it directly in our local public schools. 

•If voters want to raise taxes for education, the revenue would be better used to expand the capacity of public schools in every community. Keep our tax dollars under local control, and work with the legislature to reinstate programs they have had to cut in order to provide additional learning and enrichment opportunities for children.

• Increases the tax on marijuana at a time when marijuana and marijuana products are already so heavily taxed, as much as 50%, that the black market for marijuana is beginning to grow again. Black market product has no oversight, no outside quality controls and is still illegal. This puts the most burdens on minorities and the poorest Coloradans, as well as mom&pop shops that are being priced out of the market by large vendors and corporations. Taxes on Marijuana keep going up. This economic model is not sustainable for smaller growers and retail outlets. The larger marijuana industry knows this, which is exactly why the industry organization is staying silent on 119. 

Amendment 78

• Puts an extra layer of bureaucracy and red tape on the ability of the State government to provide services to the public, especially in an emergency. 

• The legislature and State government agencies are already responsible to Colorado voters AND the State Constitution, regarding how they disburse tax funds.  

• Ties the hands of the Legislature and the local State government in dispersing emergency aid under extraordinary circumstances such as wildfires and floods. If 78 passes, it will be almost impossible for the state and local governments to be able to respond quickly and effectively to natural and man-made disasters. 

• 78 is the brainchild of the Colorado Republican Party. It’s written to shrink government, by getting around changes that were made to get around TABOR over the last 29 years. It’s also written to stop the ability of the state government, to respond to emergency issues, that we went through during the pandemic in 2020. 

• Apparently puts local and State government funds that are NOT under TABOR now, under TABOR. This will trigger loss of funds and subsequent cuts, in services from State and local governments and special districts. 

• Official Blue Book argument: “The measure adds unnecessary and expensive bureaucracy and risks significant unintended consequences. A longer allocation process could delay or interrupt state services, including emergency responses to public health or wildfire disasters. Further, making grant funding subject to additional steps could jeopardize Colorado’s competitiveness for grant awards, resulting in the state receiving less money. Finally, the measure shifts decision-making from program experts and independent commissions to a political process in the state legislature.””

• If they were actually concerned about how tax monies are spent, they would create more flexibility in the state government’s ability to keep a cash cushion for emergencies, and to respond to the immediate needs of Coloradans in a crisis. But 78 does the opposite of that. 

Proposition 120

• Written by conservatives including the Koch brothers backed political action groups and the Colorado Republican Party.

• Essentially a huge tax break for wealthy property investors and developers. Cuts assessments on multifamily and lodging properties.

• Sets a smaller amount of $25 million dollars to be dispersed, if there’s extra money from property taxes to those eligible for the homestead exemption. The homestead exemption was originally $150 million dollars to be disbursed on a first-come first-serve basis. However the $25 million dollars goes directly to local governments and districts without any concern for needs-based disbursement. In other words anyone can qualify no matter how wealthy they are. 

• Puts more pressure on the state budget to fill in the gaps regarding the loss of school district monies from prop 120. The state already owes over $13 billion dollars to local school districts  because of TABOR. Prop. 120 will just add to the loss of local school districts monies. 

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