What were they thinking?
Why You Should Vote No on Amendment 73
Proponents of Amendment 73 suggest it is a simple tax hike on the rich to fund education. Don’t be fooled.
73 is a massive tax hike on many Colorado families and most Colorado employers designed to give education bureaucrats a blank check. Amendment 73 guarantees no results. It is a blank check. Amendment 73 proponents are employing a campaign of deceit to try and seduce Colorado voters into backing their plan. Don’t be deceived!
What will it cost you?
Raises taxes by $1.6 billion annuallyto increase education funding.
Ditches Colorado’s long-standing flat- rate 4.63% income tax in favor of a progressive income tax, with a top bracket of 8.25% (a 78% increase).
Raises the corporate tax rate from 4.63% to 6% (a 30% increase on companies that provide Colorado jobs)
Sets the residential property tax assessment rate for school districts at 7.0 percent (an increase over the projected rate of 6.1%, set for just a few months away) and decreases the assessment rate to 24.0% for most commercial and industrial property owners.
Permanently removes all education dollars from the state’s spending limits.
Amendment 73 is a $1.6 billion Per Year Blank Check.
Amendment 73 is being sold as a big benefit for teacher pay and new school buildings, but the reality is the measure provides no guarantee that the funds will be used for those purposes.
Cathy Kipp, a proponent of the record-breaking tax increase said, “The money will be spent however the local school district wants to spend it.”
History demonstrates that a large percentage of new revenues will go toward administrators, overhead and the huge education bureaucracy. From 1992 to 2014, overall education spending increased 15%, while teacher pay decreased 11%.
There simply is no correlation between more spending and achievement. Not higher test scores. Not better college readiness.
Not improved job preparedness.
Teachers are sick of money going everywhere except into classrooms. While teachers spend their own money on whiteboard markers and classroom supplies, administrative bureaucracy is ballooning.
“Amendment 73's massive tax hike is not the best way to improve teacher pay or put more money into classrooms. While administrative costs have soared, inflation-adjusted teacher pay has slightly declined. Colorado spends more on administrative costs than the U.S. average, and only 53 percent of total expenditures go to instruction," writes former elementary and middle school teacher Michael Fields, in the Greeley Tribune. Michael Fields is the Executive Director for Colorado Rising Action. Read more >
According to a study by the REMI Partnership, “While it is an imperative that Colorado continue to address its lagging graduation rate, there is little evidence that an increase in funding through the existing school formula will help to improve the outcomes for those students who are falling behind.”
Amendment 73 is Blatant Deception.
Amendment 73 is being sold as a tax increase on wealthy CEOs and big corporations, but that’s dishonest.
Amendment 73 triggers a massive income tax increase on tens of thousands of small businesses, farms, middle income married couples, and each and every homeowner in Colorado. Some of Colorado’s best-known and most vital employers would be faced with tax increases as high as 78 percent.
A property tax hike, couched as a tax cut!
Amendment 73 uses a play-on-words to make it seem as if homeowners will receive a property tax reduction, but that’s dishonest in the extreme. Amendment 73 means homeowners will pay higher property taxes into the future, with actual property tax bills increasing from their current level at a rate that will now grow as fast as the value of their home.
A 30% tax hike on Colorado companies is portrayed as a 1.37% increase!
Amendment 73’s title states it will “increase the corporate income tax rate by 1.37%,” but in reality, the amendment increases the corporate income tax rate by 1.37 percentage points, not 1.37%. That’s a job-killing 30% increase in corporate taxes. The lawyers who drafted 73 were artful and deceitful: their goal was obviously to make this tax increase appear less draconian than it is.
73 is a Massive, Job-Killing Tax and Spending Hike on Colorado’s Job Producers and Families
Amendment 73 will trap more and more middle-income earners with tax increases each and every year.
Think about it: 73 locks in tax increases for individuals, families, and small businesses earning more than $150,000 a year. Even today, that means a huge tax increase for many people who are anything but wealthy. In 10 years, that $150,000 threshold will sweep in all middle-income earners. Accountants call it “bracket creep”. Opponents of 73 call it greedy. The obvious goal of the backers of 73 was to raise taxes on everyone, not just the wealthiest one percent.
Amendment 73 will decimate Colorado’s jobs environment.
If approved, Colorado would go from having among the lowest income tax rates in the nation to the eighth highest. When other states have enacted tax increases this large, companies have re- located jobs and headquarters to other states. Colorado would have the highest income tax rate in the Rocky Mountain West, higher even than New Mexico, a state with a notoriously bad business environment.
Amendment 73 is a double-whammy for small businesses.
Amendment 73 would force many small and independent businesses to pay an income tax rate as much as 37% higher than the rate applied to multi-billion dollar corporations. (Corporate rate increases 30%, while highest marginal income tax rate increases 78%.)
Amendment 73 totally undermines the state’s voter-approved TABOR state spending limits.
By exempting education – the largest program in the state’s budget – from the state spending cap, Amendment 73 is a backdoor scheme to allow big-spending politicians to cost-shift and spend unlimited amounts of tax money on other programs also. 73 blows open the door to big spending.
Amendment 73 Robs Local Governments of Resources
The property tax increase on Colorado homeowners was written so poorly that it will force more money to schools at the expense of fire districts, library districts, and irrigation and water districts.
“Fire chiefs, public health professionals, mayors, county commissioners, city officials – and all others who use property taxes to serve the public – need to learn more about Amendment 73. If enacted, their agencies will make do with less.”
– Gazette editorial, 9/09/2018 Read more >
… another huge problem is the hidden tax on all of us. State business taxes will go up almost 30 percent, and when businesses pass on that increase to consumers, it will hit every one of us in our pockets.”
– The Greeley Tribune Op-Ed,
Michael Fields is the Executive Director for Colorado Rising Action and a former teacher. Read his full article >