Amidst education cutbacks, Colorado tax increase proposed
DENVER, Colorado: A state lawmaker wants a statewide tax increase in order to help alleviate cutbacks in education, and he's using an initiative effort to get it placed on the November 6, 2012 ballot.
The initiated state statute would increase the state income tax to 5 percent and the sales tax to 3 percent. Currently, the income tax is 4.63 percent and the sales tax is 2.9 percent. The proposal is being backed by State Senator Rollie Heath and other supporters who will try to gather enough signatures to place it on the ballot. The revenue generated from the tax increase would be used to help fun education in the state.
Supporters must collect at least 85,853 signatures from registered state voters by the August 6, 2012 petition drive deadline in order to send the initiative to a public vote.
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."