Steamboat Springs Colorado Mountain College President Stan Jensen said Monday that lost revenue from passage of Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 would be a “huge blow” to CMC.
CMC’s Board of Trustees heard a presentation Monday at its meeting in Leadville about impacts to the college should voters approve the anti-tax ballot measures in November.
Linda English, CMC’s vice president of finance, said during a conference call after the meeting that passage of the measures could force the college to cut its budget by $32 million, or 50 percent.
She said lost revenue with implementation of the ballot measures could force the college to increase tuition by as much as 60 percent, eliminate programs, close one of the two campus sites in Garfield and Summit counties, reduce student services, reduce employee benefits or lay off employees, and delay maintenance projects and new construction.
CMC has 12 sites in western Colorado.
Jensen said passage of the measures could delay the college’s plan to roll out a four-year degree program. With those possibilities, Jensen said there would be a cost to CMC students.
“These particular measures may be counterproductive to the taxpayers they proclaim to save money for because they’ll still have to spend more and go farther to get to the services that are left,” Jensen said.
If approved, the ballot measures will reduce vehicle fees, limit government borrowing and lower property taxes.
Proposition 101 would reduce vehicle registration fees and state income taxes. Amendment 60 would force school districts to cut their mill levies in half by 2020, revenue that would be replaced by state aid. Amendment 61 would prohibit the state from borrowing and require that local governments get voter approval and repay loans within 10 years.
Supporters of the measures at Colorado Tax Reforms respond to questions only by e-mail. An e-mail sent Tuesday afternoon was not immediately returned. Representatives have referred questions to their website, www.cotaxreforms.com.
In an e-mail to The New York Times this week, Colorado Tax Reforms spokeswoman Natalie Menten said, “We need tax relief, tax reform, tax justice.”
She said the measures would benefit everyone.
“We are in sync with the national mood and the taxpayer revolt over excess spending and debt,” Menten told the Times. “We are taking action on a state level.”
Jensen said CMC’s Board of Trustees in June approved a resolution to oppose the measures.
He added that passage of the measures would affect CMC’s proposed 45,000-square-foot geoexchange facility and secondary access road at the campus in Steamboat Springs. The project has stalled but is still being pursued, Jensen said.
“We do need to factor in what happens with the November election,” he said. “If 101, 60 or 61 pass, that may radically change whatever options we do have. In other words, we wouldn’t do it.”