COLORADO (AP) – Colorado voters have rejected a proposal to raise income tax rates to fund public education.
Amendment 73 would have increased the state individual income tax rate for people who earn more than $150,000 a year and boosted the corporate income tax rate to raise an additional $1.6 billion annually for schools.
The proposal was defeated Tuesday in a state that has typically been averse to raising taxes. Voters rejected similar measures in 2011 and 2013 by a 2-to-1 margin.
Opponents argued the measure would be bad for the economy and would not guarantee better academic performance. They also said the Legislature would not have been able to adjust tax thresholds to account for inflation.
Amendment 73 – Education Funding
Supporters argued that Amendment 73 would improve outcomes for students and help retain and attract teachers to Colorado schools. Supporters also said it would provide tax relief for nonresidential property owners and farmers who have paid a higher share of property taxes compared to residential homeowners.
Opponents said the tax increases could have a negative impact on local businesses and the state’s economy as a whole. They also said 73 could shift more of the tax burden to homeowners while shifting it away from nonresidential property owners. Opponents also said that the question didn’t require legislators to adjust income tax brackets to account for inflation over time, meaning more people could be taxed at the $150,000 rate than originally intended.