Election 2019: Voters reject Proposition CC

Colorado voters sent a clear message to political leaders regarding the Taxpayers Bill of Rights: Don’t touch our refunds.

Proposition CC, a ballot measure referred by the state Legislature, would have allowed the state to keep tax revenue collected in excess of inflation and population growth, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

As of 12:03 p.m. Wednesday, Prop CC was trailing, with 54.91 percent against, or 754,517 votes, and 44.09 percent in support, or 619,524 votes. The measure was leading in Boulder and Broomfield counties, with Larimer and Weld counties opposed.

The measure would have allocated the money in thirds — to fund higher education, K-12 schools and transportation — with annual audits showing how the funds were spent.

But voters appeared reluctant to give the state authority to retain funds collected above the rate of inflation and population growth, which under the 2012 Taxpayers Bill of Rights must be returned to voters.

Proposition CC split the state’s business community, receiving endorsements from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Boulder Chamber and the Longmont Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. Chambers of commerce in Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland did not take a position on the measure, but some business leaders around the state argued against ceding excess revenues back to the state.

Media to endorse the measure included the Aurora Sentinel, BizWest, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Colorado Springs Business Journal, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Durango Herald, the (Grand Junction) Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the La Junta Tribune-Democrat and the Steamboat Pilot & Today, while opponents included The Denver Post.