Tax increase in Colorado now in the hands of voters

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August 25, 2011

Colorado

DENVER, Colorado: State Senator Rollie Heath introduced a ballot measure earlier this year that would increase the state income and sales tax. Now it is officially up to state voters to either shoot down the idea or enact it this November.[1]

On August 24, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler certified the ballot measure after confirming that enough signatures were gathered in order to include it in the November 1, 2011 general election. The measure's formal title on the ballot is Proposition 103.

When contacted by Ballotpedia on July 27, the Colorado Secretary of State's office stated that Senator Rollie Heath verbally committed to submitting signatures for the measure by the August 1 petition drive deadline.[2]

On the day of the deadline, Heath and supporters submitted 142,160 signatures, more than the 86,105 valid signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot.

Reports out of the state say that the measure was proposed in order to help fund education in the state.

According to Heath, "When people see what we’re doing to schools and classrooms, and closing schools and classrooms, and cutting back, they realize that this is reality and that education is economic development and jobs, and that we’re virtually last in the country for funding higher education and K-12, I’m hoping that people will understand that this cuts into the future, and regardless of how difficult the times, we need to invest in our kids"

However, opponents of the proposed ballot question, such as Jon Caldara, president of the libertarian Independence Institute, argue, "It is difficult to get something on the ballot purely with volunteers, especially something like this. It’s easier to get something on the ballot like abortion and gun control, something very easy to understand. This one’s not quite as easy."

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