Letter to the editor: Strike a blow for (in)sanity with Prop CC

Recently, BizWest published an editorial supporting Proposition CC that would allow the state government to spend TABOR refunds instead of giving them back to taxpayers. For readers in Northern Colorado to accurately understand Prop CC before it hits the November ballot, there are several statements from this piece that need clarification. 

First, the editorial claims that state spending has not kept up with Colorado’s overall economic growth, and thus led to significant cuts in education. However, there is more to the complicated story of state spending. Colorado’s state budget is actually growing by over $1 billion every year, but the state legislature has simply refused to prioritize education (and transportation for that matter) spending. Colorado has experienced a 20 percent inflation adjusted increase in education spending since 1990, but somehow teacher pay is still down 20 percent. That’s not fair to teachers and this ballot initiative doesn’t correct it. With these statistics in mind, the government clearly does not need more money, but rather needs to properly allocate existing funds. 

Second, the editorial mentions that our current Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights already allows voters to remove the limits on government spending. This is true, but to qualify that statement – any revised spending is temporary and voters approve each request independently. Proposition CC is a blank check for all spending – and it lasts forever.

Third, the editorial states that one-third of excess revenue is allocated towards education spending. This is seemingly beneficial, but readers should know the fine print of the legislation. Under Prop CC, TABOR funds cannot be used towards recurring teacher salaries, one of the biggest concerns for Colorado educators, but only for one-time teacher bonuses. The Colorado Teachers Union, a recent donor to the CC campaign, strongly opposes teacher bonuses, even to the point of taking legal action. This contradiction indicates serious miscommunication among Prop CC supporters.

What’s more, Democratic Speaker of the House K.C. Becker has even admitted there are no guarantees past the first year that TABOR refunds will continue funding education or transportation. 

Finally, the editorial claims Prop CC does not raise taxes, but rather keeps the revenue it has already collected. TABOR refund money never belonged to the government. TABOR refunds simply give Coloradans back their own money. It is the same as if a customer overpays cash on a meal bill. They obviously still expect the change. TABOR refunds are the change that is owed to Coloradans. If the government increases the amount of money they keep from voters – this is a tax increase. 

For these reasons and more, we implore both the editors of BizWest and the voters of Northern Colorado: Vote No on Proposition CC. If you have any further questions, please visit us at www.votenooncc.com

— Charlie Danaher, media spokesperson for the Boulder County Republican Party

Recently, BizWest published an editorial supporting Proposition CC that would allow the state government to spend TABOR refunds instead of giving them back to taxpayers. For readers in Northern Colorado to accurately understand Prop CC before it hits the November ballot, there are several statements from this piece that need clarification. 

First, the editorial claims that state spending has not kept up with Colorado’s overall economic growth, and thus led to significant cuts in education. However, there is more to the complicated story of state spending. Colorado’s state budget is actually growing by over $1 billion every year, but the state legislature has simply refused to prioritize education (and transportation for that matter) spending. Colorado has experienced a 20 percent inflation adjusted increase in education spending since 1990, but somehow teacher pay is still down 20 percent. That’s not fair to teachers and this ballot initiative doesn’t correct it. With these statistics in mind, the government clearly does not need more money, but rather needs to properly allocate existing funds. 

Second, the editorial mentions that our current Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights already allows voters to remove the limits on government spending. This is true, but to qualify that statement – any revised spending is temporary and voters approve each request independently. Proposition CC is a blank check for all spending – and it lasts forever.

Third, the editorial states that one-third of excess revenue is allocated towards education spending. This is seemingly beneficial, but…