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9/19/2013 State Ballot Issue 66

Elsewhere in this week’s Tribune, readers can see a legal notice regarding the proposed Amendment 66 which will appear on all Colorado ballots in November’s off-year election.


If the measure is approved, approximately $950 million will be allocated for preschool through 12th grade public education and school funding in Colorado, financed by a modest income tax increase.


Currently, Colorado has a flat rate personal income tax of 4.63 percent. If Amendment 66 is approved, there would be a two-tiered income tax of 5.0 percent for those making $75,000 annually or less, and 5.9 percent for those making more than $75,000.


The Colorado Legislative Council says Colorado residents currently enjoy the third lowest state tax rate in the nation, and the sixth lowest when state and local taxes are combined.


The education proposal will re-inject funds to Colorado’s 178 school districts which sustained major cut-backs in recent years. In our C-1 district here, state equalization funding dropped from $1.1 million in the 2010-11 school year to just $659,000 currently. (The district’s current budget is $3.9 million, of which $2.2 million comes from local property taxes.)


The Colorado Association of School Boards supports Amendment 66, and the opportunity to have additional funds for early literacy programs, smaller class sizes, and for boosting both special education as well as advanced placement programs.


Colorado is recognized for its commitment to public education, and this measure will overcome recent shortfalls and help bolster that obligation and responsibility toward our youth.