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Colorado state tax initiative stands alone with deadline closing in

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July 27, 2011

Colorado

By Al Ortiz

DENVER, Colorado: Then there was one. The days before the petition drive deadline on August 1 in Colorado are shrinking, and while 36 initiatives are listed on the Colorado Secretary of State's website, only one will be eligible for the 2011 ballot. Ballotpedia contacted the secretary's office, who stated that the tax increase initiative, proposed by State Senator Rollie Heath, was the only initiative eligible to submit signatures. The office also stated that supporters of the measure called in to state their intentions of filing petitions on the day of the deadline.

Supporters must turn in at least 85,854 signatures in order to be considered for the ballot.

The measure 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.

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."[1]

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