Initiative to boost school funding gets closer to placement on November ballot
Grand County’s senate district is closing in on obtaining the required amount of signatures to get Ballot Initiative No. 93 on the November general election ballot, according to proponents of the initiative.
Great Education Colorado Action, a nonpartisan advocacy organization focused on improving public education, has put forth the initiative that seeks to increase school funding across the state through the implementation of a new taxing regimen for Colorado citizens and businesses.
If the ballot measure is approved, East Grand would receive an additional $2.3 million in operational revenue per year, according to East Grand School District Superintendent Frank Reeves. The district currently operates with an annual budget of roughly $10 million, though the district’s annual budget back in 2007 was closer to $12 million. From 2009 to 2013, the district eliminated 40 positions from its workforce.
“We have added a few back, but we haven’t added 40,” Reeves said of the jobs. “It is almost hard to describe what that money would do for us. I’m not saying give it to us because you owe it, but give it to us because you will see an even better education for our kids. Give us this and we will really show you return on investment.”
The proposed initiative would levy an additional tax on individual incomes above $150,000 in a series of four tax brackets. Individuals making $150,000 would see a tax increase of .37 percent, the lowest bracket under the proposed taxing regimen, while individuals making $500,000 or above would seen a tax increase of 3.62 percent, the highest bracket under the proposed initiative.
“It is important to note that this is a tax increment, the tax is only for the dollars within that (income) range,” a representative of Great Education Colorado said. “If you make $160,000 you only pay the .37 percent additional tax on income above $150,000.”
Additionally, C corporations would see a corporate tax increase of 1.37 percent. The proposal would not increase taxes on S corporations, small-business corporations, sole proprietorships or LLCs.
The proposed ballot initiative, if approved by Colorado voters, would also result in a reduction in the residential property tax assessment rate from 7.2 percent to 7 percent. Nonresidential properties would see a 5 percent reduction, going from the current rate of 29 to 24 percent.
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