NewsElection Watch


Amendment 73 calls to increase taxes among high earners to boost education funding

Posted at 6:56 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 22:13:19-04

COLORADO- The November ballot will be filled with questions that ask you how to handle your tax money, among other changes.

Amendment 73 asks voters to change the state constitution to boost funding to Colorado schools.

The question on your ballot is lengthy, and we’ve included the full text at the end of this article.

The first part of the question wants to know if you’re willing to pass a tax increase to collect $1.6 billion annually dedicated to increasing funding to Colorado schools.

Here’s how it would work:

Income taxes would go up for Coloradans earning more than $150,000.

The income tax would go up by .37 percent for people making $150,000 a year and taxes could go up as much as 3.62 percent for the higher earners.

The corporate tax rate will increase 1.37 percent.

Additionally, the ballot question asks if you’re willing to lower and freeze the property tax assessment rate, which could lower property taxes for homeowners.

For homeowners, the assessment rate will be lowered from 7.2 to 7.0 percent and for businesses that rate will go down from 29  to 24 percent.

If you’d like to see how it would impact your property taxes, click here.

The money will go into a newly created fund, and change the School Finance Act.

It’s a plan resonating in districts like Pueblo City Schools, where teachers went on strike last May for higher wages before reaching an agreement with the district.

“It’s imperative that we get additional funding to all the schools, but especially here in Pueblo,” said Mike Maes, Vice President of the Pueblo Education Association.

According to the campaign in support of the plan, it would give District 60 $26.7 million each year for school funding.

The districts would then ultimately decide how to spend the money they receive from this plan.

Still, funding challenges exist in Pueblo.

Teachers are hoping Amendment 73, and a mill levy override on the ballot for Pueblo voters in district 60 will help alleviate some of the challenges.

Here’s how the ballot question will appear on your ballot:

Shall state taxes be increased $1,600,000,000 annually by an amendment to the Colorado Constitution and a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning funding relating to preschool through high school public education, and, in connection therewith, creating an exception to the single rate state income tax for revenue that is dedicated to the funding of public schools; increasing income tax rates incrementally for individuals, trusts, and estates using four tax brackets starting at .37% for income above $150,000 and increasing to 3.62% for income above $500,000; increasing the corporate income tax rate by 1.37%; For purposes of school district property taxes, reducing the current residential assessment rate of 7.2% To 7.0% and the current nonresidential assessment rate of 29%to 24%; requiring the revenue from the income tax increases to be deposited in a dedicated public education fund and allowing the revenue collected to be retained and spent as voter-approved revenue changes; requiring the legislature to annually appropriate money from the fund to school districts to support early childhood through high school public educational programs on an equitable basis throughout the state without decreasing general fund appropriations; directing the legislature to enact, regularly review, and revise when necessary, a new public school finance law that meets specified criteria; until the legislature has enacted a new public school finance law, requiring the money in the fund to be annually appropriated for specified education programs and purposes; requiring the money in the fund to be used to support only public schools; requiring general fund appropriations for public education to increase by inflation, up to 5%, annually; and requiring the department of education to commission a study of the use of the money in the fund within five years?