From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel):
Proposition 101 would do much more than put FASTER in reverse. It would cut auto-registration fees to almost nothing, cut the state income tax by nearly 25 percent and eliminate almost all telephone fees and taxes. “The total impact of 101 on the state budget, in a word, it’s devastating,” said Carol Hedges of the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute.
The state income-tax rate now stands at 4.63 percent. Proposition 101 would cut it to 4.5 percent, with 0.1 percent drops every year personal income grows by a certain amount until the tax rate hits 3.5 percent. When fully implemented, Coloradans’ state income tax bills would be nearly a quarter lower than they are now. That translates to $1.2 billion that is currently used for schools, prisons, courts and health care going to tax cuts instead, Hedges said. The first year’s cuts would total at least $130 million in a state budget that is already more than $1 billion in the hole. Local school districts would lose millions of dollars just from the lower car ownership taxes, according to the Bell Policy Center, a left-leaning group…
An average vehicle owner in La Plata County pays $82.06 in ownership taxes per year, plus license fees of $55.70. Proposition 101 knocks the tax down to $1 for used cars or $2 for new cars. License fees would be cut to $10. The county’s three school districts now get $2.7 million from the fee. Under 101, they would share just $39,000. La Plata County’s government would lose more than $1.7 million, and special districts such as fire departments would lose nearly $1.3 million, according to the Bell Policy Center. Archuleta County School District 50-Jt would lose more than $500,000, and Montezuma County’s three school districts would share a loss of more than $1.5 million.
Rick Reiter, head of Coloradans for Responsible Reform, chided the sponsors of Proposition 101 and its companion amendments, 60 and 61, for not consulting with anyone at the Legislature, business groups or budget experts before they wrote their proposals. “They just sit in a room. They create this stuff as if it’s magic dust,” Reiter said at a Grand Junction debate on Sept. 11. Reiter leads a coalition the size of which the state has rarely seen – school advocates, liberal groups, Republican leaders, chambers of commerce, water utility boards across the state. The coalition has put together a $5.7 million budget to fight the three measures.
More coverage from Charlotte Burroughs writing for the Cañon City Daily Record. From the article:
“On 60 and 101, we’re projected to take about $131,000 hit the first year,” said finance officer Sonny Barnes during the Florence City Council meeting Monday. “That’s also based on interpretation on Amendment 60, which talks about organizations that have ‘deBruced.’ It depends on if we have to just ratchet down going into next year.” The numbers may change if the city has to go backwards, based on when the city actually “deBruced.” “If we have to go backwards ….., we’re looking at an additional $90,000,” Barnes said.
More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.