2020 November Ballot

Final details of the November ballot are still in process but it is clear that Colorado voters will have several statewide decisions to make including the following. The 2020 State Ballot Information Booklet (Blue Book) is now available for your review.

Amendment B — Repeal the Gallagher Amendment

CASB SUPPORTS Amendment B. Please see the sample resolution below.

The Colorado Legislature has referred a question to voters to ask if they want to repeal the so-called Gallagher Amendment from the Colorado Constitution. The 2019 CASB Delegates approved Legislative Resolution #22 in support of modification to the state’s constitutional tax code, including the Gallagher Amendment — 2019 Delegate Resolutions. CASB members expressed similar support during the 2020 legislative session when the Legislative Resolutions Committee and CASB Board of Directors voted to support SCR20-001, which was approved by two-thirds of the General Assembly.

Those in support of the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment cite the unequal treatment of property taxes on personal residence and business property. Further supporters highlight the ongoing unsustainability of the current system as the taxes paid by homeowners continue to decline while forcing business property taxes to increase with the state having to backfill the difference between the two for public education. Those who oppose the repeal are generally concerned that the ballot question doesn’t stipulate what will replace Gallagher.

Sample Resolution to Repeal the Gallagher Amendment (PDF)
Sample Resolution to Repeal the Gallagher Amendment (Word)

 


Proposition #116 (formerly Initiative #306)

CASB OPPOSES Proposition #116. Please see the sample resolution below.

While this measure did not require 2% of registered voters in each Senate District to sign a petition, the sponsors of this ballot measure collected nearly two hundred thousand signatures to ask voters to permanently reduce Colorado income tax rates from 4.63% to 4.55%. If approved by voters the measure would reduce revenue available to the state by approximately $78 million in the first year and nearly $200 million in following years according to the April 2020 fiscal note. The Pro and Con positions fall along predictable lines. Those in favor support the income tax rate reduction because they feel income taxes are too high. Those in opposition highlight the ongoing concerns of how to fund transportation, public health, and public education with less funding than the state would currently have.

Sample resolution opposing Prop #116 (PDF)
Sample resolution opposing Prop #116 (Word)

 


Proposition #117 (formerly Initiative #295)

CASB OPPOSES Proposition #117. Please see the sample resolution below.

As CASB members are well aware, Colorado is unique in that the state’s tax code is entirely in our state constitution. The Colorado General Assembly is the only legislative body that cannot create tax policy. What is known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, requires the General Assembly to ask Colorado voters before a new tax can be created. However, there is a section of the TABOR Amendment which excludes a certain class of state funds known as “enterprise funds”. One example of this type of fund is the Hospital Provider Fee (HPF). The HPF is used to leverage additional funds from the Federal government to pay for the state’s Medicare obligations. In 2017 the General Assembly passed SB17-267 to classify the HPF as a state enterprise fund. This allowed the state to exclude these funds from the revenue limits of TABOR. The Denver District Court upheld the legality of the measure in the spring of 2019 when the court ruled in favor of the state. Opponents of the use of state enterprise funds claim these funds are an end around to the will of Colorado voters who have consistently upheld TABOR. Proponents of their use claim that enterprise funds are an important tool and provide flexibility to state budget writers to use funds that are excluded by the TABOR Amendment.

Sample resolution opposing Prop #117 (PDF)
Sample resolution opposing Prop #117 (Word)

 


Proposition EE — Cigarette Tobacco and Nicotine Products Tax

CASB as a statewide organization is remaining neutral on Proposition EE, but encourages local school boards to take a position.

The Colorado General Assembly passed HB20-1427 to ask Colorado voters to increase taxes on tobacco and liquid nicotine products to help fund health programs and provide some additional funding to K12 education. Because this measure was referred from the General Assembly signatures on petitions didn’t need to be gathered. There are several groups supporting the ballot measure under the umbrella of the ForCOKids campaign. Currently there does not seem to be a group running a campaign on the NO side of the issue but that could change.

As a locally elected Board member you are often called on as a resource of information on ballot issues. In order to help you better understand the measure the CASB staff has collected all the relevant information on the CASB website, including sample resolutions for your school board for those measures on which CASB has taken a position.