Nov 7, 2009 9:48 AM by Associated Press

Ritter proposes sales tax on soda, online sales

Facing an expected $1 billion shortfall in next year's budget, Gov. Bill Ritter is proposing a $260 million cut in education spending and a sales tax on candy and soda as well as online sales.

Under a plan submitted to state lawmakers Friday, some business-specific tax breaks would also be eliminated or suspended. Conservation easement credits would also be limited for three years.

State workers would take home less money in a move intended to avoid more furloughs. They would pick up the state's share of their pension contribution - 2.5 percent of their salary - for a year to save $20.1 million.

State colleges and universities would receive $56 million less next year but could increase tuition up to 9 percent. Ritter said the budget spread the pain.

Sen. Josh Penry, who is challenging Ritter in next year's election, says the tax proposals will hurt people living on the margin.


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