The Denver Post editorial board isn’t exactly a bastion of limited government when they editorialize as a group. But even the Denver Post has weighed in urging a No vote on Proposition 103. Check it out for yourself. They of course praise Rollie Heath as a sincere fellow. In fact, they apparently urge a no vote so that elected officials can find a long-term (tax increase) solution to Colorado’s budget.
The Vote Yes on Proposition 103 camp says their initiative will fund public schools. Keep in mind it does no such thing. The increased taxes collected will go into the state general fund. Less than 40% of the state general fund gets spent on K-12 education. Legislators will decide how to spend the higher tax revenue.
The Vote Yes website has a tax calculator to show you just how affordable their tax hike will be. Rossputin.com has an excellent analysis of the flaws in their calculator.
Prop 103 is also being pitched as a “time out” from school district budget cuts. This is a $3 billion (or more) tax increase in the midst of continued high unemployment. The Vote Yes crowd sees taxpayers as misbehaving students, who just need five years of higher taxes to realize the error of their ways.
Save Colorado Jobs is a group promoting the No vote on Proposition 103. They explain how raising taxes will kill jobs in Colorado.
A number of school districts have endorsed Proposition 103. The Park R-3 School District endorsed a no vote. Like a number of other districts accross Colorado, Park R-3 is asking for a mill levy increase to support school funding. According to Park R-3 Board members, for a school district to also endorse Prop 103 would be a double whammy.
The “double whammy” impact on jobs never stopped the legislature from devising more fee increases as a way to avoid the vote requirements of the TABOR amendment. That’s what led to the non-voter approved “Dirty Dozen” collection of fee increases and an unconstitutional “Amazon” tax on the out-of-state sale of books via internet.
Colorado voters are cautious about giving the legislature ever higher taxes. Proposition 103 seeks five-year increases because Referendum C sold a similar temporary fix to the voters.
The Denver Post wants a permanent solution to Colorado’s budget woes. Usually, the “permanent solution” turns out to be repealing TABOR and then increasing taxes. Higher taxes would be a permanent problem. Just ask California. Reason produced an in-depth report on California’s budget crisis. Over the last two decades, state spending outpaced the rate of inflation plus the growth in state population. It didn’t matter whether the Governor was Democrat Gray Davis or Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. That’s why Californians would be grateful to have Colorado’s TABOR limits on state spending.
Hopefully voters will recognize that Prop 103 is just the opening salvo in an ongoing effort to increase the size of state government.