Coloradoâ€™s Amendments 60, 61 and 101 are a toxic combination that threaten to bring fiscal disaster to Colorado.
We encourage readers to read todayâ€™s Collegian story for the full scoop on these amendments, but a general summary will suffice in showing why they should be defeated.
Amendment 60 would drastically cut state property taxes, which would hurt local municipalities and force the state government to provide $1.5 billion in replacement funding for K-12 schools.
This $1.5 billion is nearly equivalent to the amount Colorado currently spends on courts, prisons and human services. Trying to plug a budget hole of this size is a nearly impossible task.
Amendment 60 has another nasty side effect. It would force public enterprises that were formerly exempt from property taxes to have to pay them. This would force institutions such as CSU and the Denver International Airport to pay significant new taxes, thus raising the cost of tuition, plane tickets and other public services.
The other amendments are no better. Amendment 61 would greatly limit the ability of the state to borrow, thus making it nearly impossible to construct large infrastructure projects such as highways and water systems.
And Amendment 101 would drastically slash fees for vehicle registration and telecommunication services, thus taking away another source of state funding. The vehicle fee reductions, in particular, would take more funding away from Coloradoâ€™s already underfunded roads and bridges.
In combination, these three amendments offer a lethal potion of tax-cutting that would deliver a crushing blow to Coloradoâ€™s already tattered finances.
While several of us on the Collegian Editorial Board generally support lower tax rates, we unanimously agree that these tax cuts are too radical for Colorado, and we urge you to vote no on all three this Tuesday.