Posted by: jamesvw | September 10, 2011

November 1 – Colorado Proposition 103 – Sales and Income Tax Increase Initiative

November 1 – Colorado Proposition 103

Sales and Income Tax Increase Initiative

As the United States creeps its way into an economic recovery, many states are still looking at how to close budget gaps in future fiscal years, especially now that stimulus funding from the federal government will not be arriving as it did in the last few years.

A group of citizens in Colorado, led by State Senator and former teacher Rollie Heath, have argued that instead of cutting spending in Colorado to balance the budget – cuts that have often been targeted at schools – there needs to be an increase in revenue being raised by the state. Therefore, they have placed on the Colorado ballot a proposal to raise the income tax by .37% to 5% overall and raise the sales tax from 2.9% to 3% These rates would return to the original after 5 years (in January 2017).

It is estimated that this proposal would raise $532 million a year, all of which would go to preventing further cuts and potentially restoring cuts in the education system of the state.

A website supporting the measure can be found here

A website opposing the measure can be found here



  1. Econ 101: Taxes are always, always a dead weight. However, we do need taxes for roads, education, etc.
    Just simply NOT when lacking normal competitive structure. I’ll definitely be against because:
    1. There is no accountability attached to the proposition. Most likely it will be used to keep union’s cadillac packages going and keep underperforming seniority-earned teaches in place. NO GUARANTEE THIS WILL IMPROVE QUALITY.
    2. My kids are in a charter school and I intend to keep it that way. Charter schools or any school competing with public schools are constantly underfunded, bullied by districts, while public schools get new iPads and all other junk. Who cares if they learn anything there? But I do and because of that, I send them to a charter school, which performs much better even with so little funding. PUBLIC SCHOOLS DON’T PERFORM no matter how much funding you give them.
    3. I paid the full amount for college, digging up savings, marching on parents accounts, working my a.. off- why should people who never cared about saving for college and working to earn a degree get a free ride. LOOK AT THE DISASTER we have at the white house with those who got “free” Harvard school.
    4. When politicians get hold of your money, you will eventually loose track of it. POLITICIANS NEVER SHOULD BE TRUSTED our money.

  2. I agree. The voters were duped into Ref C– with its lack of accountability. Now this. Colorado teachers are scaming us with equivalent annual salary of 65K/year, 15 weeks vacation, plus 80%-100% pension and paid healthcare. And we have no improvement in pupil achievement.

    • I would check your facts, before claiming that teachers make 65k a year. Teacher’s salary are readily available to look at in every district, with most starting at about 34k, with a Bachelor’s degree, and not reaching 65k until 35 years of service. I wonder what normal employees make after 35 years of employment? Even with a PHD, the starting salary is 45k, just 20k off of your claim. As for your other statements: yes there is a 3 month period that teachers have off during the summer, but is that in any way deserved after working 60-70 hr work weeks (working out to be about $12.15/hr), and most of the time a summer job to make ends meet? Even if you believe that is not deserved, it’s part of the perks and allure to teaching, if you’re so jealous maybe try a career change. Not sure where the paid health care is coming from, not true. Teachers are put onto a health plan just like any other person in the nation working, by paying out of their paycheck every month. Teachers also add to their pension, with our own monthly salary…every month, I wish it was 80-100% and not coming out of my monthly salary. Wouldn’t everyone be a teacher if that was true, or any of these other statements.

      As for, “no improvement in pupil achievement”, you should maybe check with the nations enrollment vs. funding, and see the difference between today and ten years ago. Less funding, would equal less resources for more students. There are kinks to work out, but where isn’t there in the normal businesses of this Nation. It’s a good thing that banks and car companies don’t have to pass a proposition to get their bail out or ask for help, right? Why is the priority to tell schools NO all the time, and spent the .37% tax raise and probably even more at Starbucks every week? Why is it a priority of some to never fund schools? It is and always be my thought, we are educating the future, who some day will be running my country, keeping me healthy, and my streets safe. I would rather pay them to get the best education they can to keep me and my children safe.

  3. One really laughable aspect of the proposition is that the tax is supposed to revert back to current levels in 6 years.

    Now when was the last time you saw anything like that actually happen after a tax increase?

    This has nothing to do with quality of education – just more tax dollars funneled to the unions.

    • Oops – typo. Supposed to revert in 5 years, not 6. The point is the same – if you raise the tax it will be darn near impossible to get it back down again, and everyone knows it.

  4. I agree with merit pay for teachers, however the teacher must be given a standard, and the resources necessary to support that standard. Teachers must also be given an evaluation taking all the issues of the classroom into account, i.e. ESL students, SLIC students, and transient students that will put a damper on any classrooms testing scores. Teachers have your children in their hands; so why do we pay them on or below poverty wages. Proposition 103 will allow schools to do all the above and aid our schools in remaining competitive with our global partners. Last I checked politicians are responsible to ensure we have the necessary checks and balances built into our laws. If 103 lacks oversight then build what we need into the process to properly audit monies gathered from 103. We don’t need excuses we need action.

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