Steamboat Springs School Board members: Amendment facts
October 30, 2013
On Oct. 14, the Steamboat Springs School Board discussed Amendment 66. Many community members on both sides of the issue expressed their opinions. The board finally voted, 3-1, to not support Amendment 66. A resolution to oppose the amendment was not brought forward.
Following are some important facts concerning this amendment and the related Senate Bill 213:
■ School funding in Colorado would be expanded from solely depending on property tax to also benefiting from an income tax. Income tax rates would increase from 4.63 to 5 percent on the first $75,000 of taxable income and to 5.9 percent on any taxable income at higher than $75,000.
■ By some conservative estimates, $6.7 million would be raised in our district and $1.5 million would return to our district.
■ If passed, our district's funding would increase from the current $6,640 per pupil to $7,020 per pupil.
■ Funds would be shared equally with state charter schools. These funds would be for programs serving gifted and talented students, English language learners, special education, full-day kindergarten and early childhood education.
■ The school funding formula would be changed to eliminate the cost-of-living factor while placing more emphasis on at-risk students who are more expensive to educate. The elimination of the cost-of-living factor especially impacts Colorado resort communities and accounts for a considerable reduction in our district's share of the state funds.
■ Districts impacted by the elimination of the cost-of-living factor will be allowed to appeal to the voters at a later time for a tax mill levy override to replace the resulting reduction in funds.
In conclusion, Amendment 66 has many benefits for the state of Colorado as a whole. Steamboat Springs School District will see an increase of about $1.5 million. This follows four years of budget cuts amounting to more than $ 4 million. Long-term funding is not addressed by this amendment. As a result, whether this amendment passes, our district still will need to address future education expenses with either further program cuts or by raising revenue from mill levy overrides and/or Education Fund Board sales tax increases.
Steamboat Springs School Board members