Ballotpedia's 2011 Ballot Measure Breakdown: Arkansas and Colorado
|Breakdown of 2011 ballot measures: Arkansas and Colorado|
By Al Ortiz
ARKANSAS and COLORADO, United States: The end of September signals the homestretch leading up to the November 8, 2011 general election. With it comes Ballotpedia's breakdown of statewide ballot measures.
In 2010, breakdowns were provided by region. However, odd-numbered election years feature significantly fewer measures than even-numbered years. As a result, 2011's series of breakdowns will provide dissections of each 2011 statewide ballot, in alphabetical order. In the 2011 breakdown series debut, Arkansas and Colorado are magnified.
|State||Number of measures in 2009||Number of measures in 2011||Change between the two years|
Magnifying the states
It is uncommon to find a measure on an Arkansas statewide ballot in an odd-numbered year. Dating back to 1991, according to Ballotpedia's database of Arkansas ballot measures, there have been no statewide proposals for voters to vote on in odd-numbered years.
The measure would authorize local areas, cities and counties, to create special economic districts and issue bonds for retail projects in the state.
The proposal was introduced as a legislatively-referred state statute by State Senator Jake C. Files. The bonds would be paid off with local tax revenues that would be generated by the development. It was proposed during 2011 state legislative session.
After being read two more times, the bill was then passed by the chamber with a vote of 29-5 on March 28, 2011. The measure then was sent back to the Arkansas House of Representatives that same day, where the House transmitted it to the Arkansas Governor's office the next day. To see which state senators voted for and against the measure, click here.
Impacts of 2011 measures:
“SJR 5 provides Arkansas some economic development tools to be competitive when looking to attract non-industrial developments, mainly hotel, entertainment and retail. It’s main purpose is to establish redevelopment districts, which may be in any blighted or vacant areas with which to issue sales tax anticipated revenue bonds.”
- Reports indicate no organized opposition at this time.
The following are on the 2012 ballot in Arkansas:
- Arkansas Diesel Tax Increase Question (2012): Would implement a five-cent diesel tax to an existing bond issue for highway needs.
- Arkansas Sales Tax Increase Amendment (2012): Would implement a half-cent sales tax in the state. The revenue generated from the tax would be used to pay for a four-lane highway system statewide.
The state of Colorado, unlike Arkansas, has seen ballot measures in odd-numbered years in the most recent decade. In 2005, voters saw two measures on the ballot, both legislatively-referred state statutes. Previously, in 2003, Colorado residents defeated all three questions on the ballot. Two were initiated constitutional amendments, while the other was a legislative referral.
In November 2011, votes will be cast for the controversial Proposition 103 initiative. The initiated state statute would increase the state income and sales tax. Specifically, it 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 revenue generated from the tax increase would be used to help fund education in the state.
Supporters must have collected at least 85,853 signatures from registered state voters by the August 1, 2011 petition drive deadline in order for the measure to make the ballot.
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.
Impacts of 2011 measures:
- Colorado Sales and Income Tax Increase Initiative, Proposition 103 (2011) : Colorado Statutes - Section 39
- Colorado Education Association president Beverly Ingle supporting the tax increase:
"We're greatly encouraged to see that so many voters share our view that great economies start with great education. This wonderful coalition of concerned civic groups, businesses and families is tired of hearing that student growth isn't a budget priority. We stand with them to remind all Coloradans that the education of our children is the state's most pressing obligation and most critical investment."
"Colorado has a revenue problem due to one simple fact: Families and businesses are having a revenue problem. This Democrat proposal to raise taxes will only hinder economic recovery and put added financial stress on already struggling families."
The following measures are among the notable initiatives proposed for the 2012 ballot in Colorado:
- Colorado Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2012): Would ask whether or not to legalize the use and possession of, at most, an ounce of marijuana for residents who are 21 and older.
- Colorado Judicial Reform Amendment (2012): Proposes changing how Colorado's judges are appointed and how long they can serve.
- 2011 ballot measures
- Ballotpedia:Analysis of the 2011 ballot measures
- Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count for 2011
- Ballot Measure Scorecard, 2011