Routt County, Colorado reject Proposition 103

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— Routt County voters teamed up with their peers across the state Tuesday to overwhelmingly reject the only statewide tax increase on November ballots nationwide — a proposal to raise income and sales taxes for five years to help maintain public education funding.

The measure would have sent an estimated $2.9 billion to preschools, K-12 schools and public colleges and universities, and the vote indicates Coloradans aren’t willing to consider higher taxes in this down economy despite deep budget cuts to high-priority services such as schools.

With more than 60 percent of the projected vote counted, Proposition 103 was trailing 65 percent to 35 percent.

In Routt County, 60 percent of voters rejected Proposition 103.

The measure would have raised individual and corporate tax rates from 4.63 percent to 5 percent.

Colorado’s sales and use tax rate would have gone from 2.9 percent to 3 percent. The rates would have been in effect from 2012 through 2016.

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers cut K-12 school funding by more than $200 million, to $2.8 billion. Still, most voters felt like Denver voter Mike Tiderman.

“I understand the plight of schools and everything, but personally, I don’t want to pay more taxes right now,” said Tiderman, a 44-year-old customer service worker.

Opponents also questioned the lack of specifics for how the tax revenues would be spent. Proposition 103 left it up to lawmakers to decide how to allocate the funds.

Because Colorado’s state constitution forbids lawmakers to raise taxes, the higher tax rates were petitioned onto ballots thanks in great part to the efforts of Democratic Sen. Rollie Heath. Other Democrats, including Gov. John Hickenlooper, declined to get behind the idea.

On the final day of voting, Hickenlooper released his budget proposal for next year, which calls for $89 million in cuts for public schools. Public colleges and universities would get $60 million less.

Comments

Sstreet 2 years, 10 months ago

Very sad when we care more about the air tax than our schools. I understand that the tax is supposed to 'help' bring in more tourists, thus more money..but really ? Meanwhile, there will be more cuts to our schools that are already suffering with higher enrollment and less support. Thanks Steamboat

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canyonwind 2 years, 10 months ago

Good job Colorado/Routt co a 2-1 rejection of left wing socialist thinking. S street you will still get tax money from the pot shop's that would have closed and the skiers that can still fly here.

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Sandra Sharp 2 years, 10 months ago

Sstreet....it is very doubtful that Prop 103 would have brought one cent into our schools. It would have been as damaging to our schools budgets as Amendment 23 proved to be.

During my campaign I learned so much. There are so many areas to increase our district's revenue base, seperate from state taxes. There are also so many areas where our schools need to be more responsible with spending.

Doing the right thing for schools is not as easy as just passing a tax increase. We need reform. And we do not need increased funding for reform. We just need to keep the students best interest first. There are several areas that our school district can address, resulting in increased budget savings and improved student performance. Let's encourage our school board to take on these changes.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 10 months ago

Sandra, Please do not take the election loss to heart and disappear. You appear to be very knowledgeable. Please show up at school board meetings and ask the board these questions. I don't believe that your ideas were rejected since 103 also failed locally.

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Sandra Sharp 2 years, 10 months ago

Scott, Good Lord.....I'm just getting my grove on! As my oldest son said, "Mom, I just think that you may be more effective off the board. Off the board you don't have to play by their rules." I learned so much during this process, and I have a list of concerns and questions which I will bring up at school board meetings. I also have a few other options... Thanks for your support!

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 10 months ago

Not even close. Excellent news; suggesting that more people are waking up to the reality that the financial well isn't bottomless.

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sledneck 2 years, 10 months ago

Unfortunately, neither is the intellectual one.

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Sstreet 2 years, 10 months ago

Would love to hear how to save money and reform when I know teachers are feeling more pressure, more work, more students and less resources which all come from funding. It is unfortunate that NO ONE from the public came to listen to the Lt. Gov. speak about CO literacy and what needs to happen. How can we make educated decisions when no one on our council is educated. I would like to know how many people in our government, making these decisions have ever been in the classroom, been a principal, an aide, a special educator? Unfortunately a lot of what needs to happen needs money to make it happen. The fact that we are the one of the lowest funded states in the country speaks volumes for how much we value education.

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