Come November, Colorado voters will then decide if they want to pay for this very expensive bill with a $1 billion income tax increase. Yesterday, Colorado Peak Politics ran a stor about a new survey from Magellan Strategies that shows Coloradans don’t want their taxes going up, certainly not to pay for more government or SB 213.
Next, before education the respondents about the proposed ballot measure for SB 213, the survey measured support for increasing taxes to fund education in Colorado. When given a specific program, especially education, half of all respondents said they would support a tax increase in this case.
Given these results, one might think things would be looking good for SB 213. Not so fast. The survey next asked respondents about two different approaches for raising income taxes; an increase for all from 4.63% to 5.35% or an increase determined by an individual’s income. A majority of respondents opposed both options.
Finally, the survey asked respondents their opinion on a $1 billion tax increase to fund education. The survey also explained that no matter what the final ballot measure looks like, the total revenue needs to be a least $1 billion dollars. Again, the majority of respondents opposed the tax increase.
This really shouldn't be surprising, as Colorado Peak Politics pointed out; voters already rejected a major tax hike (Proposition 103) in 2011. Although the survey only measured the opinions of a small group of likely voters, history tends to repeat itself – or at least in this case, we hope it does.
Not only is this not the time to be increasing taxes on Coloradans, but SB 213 doesn’t deliver on its promises to overhaul the state’s education funding system or implement reforms. What’s worse is that it takes money from rural and suburban districts and sends it to Denver’s urban districts and treats charter schools as less than equal to district schools.
The Democrats in the General Assembly this year have put forth bill after bill that either increases spending or hurts Coloradans by raising taxes and/or increasing costs. If the Magellan survey is any indicator, voters have had enough. Even if the measure fails, Democrats will try again – they made sure they could within the language of the bill. It is time they listen to their constituents, though, who sent a clear message in 2011 and thus far seem unwilling to pay such a high price even for an increase in education spending.