Colorado Voters Will Decide Whether To Raise Taxes To Fund Schools

Colorado enacted $200 million in education cuts in FY2012, forcing some of the state’s 178 school districts to “fire teachers, suspend textbook purchases, institute transportation fees, freeze salaries, lower graduation requirements and reduce the school week.” Now, Colorado voters will decide in November whether to increase the income-tax rate “to pump almost $3 billion into a state education system that ranks 40th in the nation in spending per pupil.” Proposition 103 would increase the income tax rate from 4.63 to 5 percent and the sales and use levy from 2.9 to 3 percent for five years. Supporters gathered 142,000 signatures to put it on the ballot, making Colorado the only state with a ballot initiative that would raise income taxes. “If we’re the only state in the country that passes a measure like this and the headlines are ‘Colorado Bucks Trends and Decides to Fund Education,’ it will have a positive effect,” state Sen. Rollie Heath (D) said.