Our View

Aug 312005
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

We understand the sentiment behind the opposition to Referendum C. After all, as state Rep. Angie Paccione, a Democrat who passionately supports the measure, said, it would effectively be the largest tax increase in the history of the state.

But desperate times call for desperate tactics.

Without change, Colorado cannot live up to its basic responsibilities to its citizens – such as improving basic health care and education. Recent years' tuition increases have illustrated our state's shortfalls.

Colorado's expends less per-capita on education than 46 of 50 states, CSU's Vice President of Administrative Services Keith Ickes told the Collegian this week. And it's not that Coloradoans don't value education. We simply don't have the money.

Referendum C would allow the state to keep and spend a projected $3.7 billion that it is expected to collect over the next five years.

If the referendum fails, the money will be returned to taxpayers under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR), a section of the Colorado constitution that states any money that exceeds a certain amount of revenue growth must be given back.

If the measure is approved on November's ballot, at least 30 percent of the $3.7 billion would have to be spent on higher-education institutions, including CSU.

Although opponents of Referendum C argue that the state government needs to cut spending and create new spending priorities, their argument is a knee-jerk reaction based not on practical reasoning, but a deep resentment toward any measure that even appears to hike taxes.

In this case we believe that our quality of life should win over partisan political ideology.

Or, of course, you could expect to pay back your TABOR check in next year's tuition.

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