Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler approved the addition of a ballot question which, if approved will increase government funding to the state's public colleges and universities. The question will appear on ballots in the upcoming November election. If approved by a simple majority of state voters, the increased funding will come from an boost in the state sales and income tax rates.
If voters approve 103, the state sales tax will rise from 2.9% to 3.0% and the state income tax rate will increase from 4.63% to 5%. According to the American Independent, $536 million in revenue would flow to the state's public educational institutions in the first year.
Proponents of question 103 contend that its passage will compensate for recent cuts which arose from the state's current fiscal stress. While opponents may decry 103's increased tax burden on Coloradans, supporters may reply with the contention that tax rates would simply revert to 1999 levels.
Voters will have the ultimate say when they complete their ballots in the November election.
Below is the language as approved by the Colorado Title Board:
State taxes shall be increased $536.1 million annually in the first full fiscal year and by such amounts as are raised annually thereafter by amendments to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning a temporary increase in certain state taxes for additional public education funding, and, in connection therewith, increasing the rate of the state income tax imposed on all taxpayers from 4.63% to 5% for the 2012 through 2016 income tax years; increasing the rate of the state sales and use tax from 2.9% to 3% for a period of five years commencing on January 1, 2012; requiring that the additional revenues resulting from these increased tax rates be spent only to fund public education from preschool through twelfth grade and public postsecondary education; specifying that the appropriation of the additional tax revenues be in addition to and not substituted for moneys otherwise appropriated for public education from preschool through twelfth grade and public postsecondary education for the 2011-12 fiscal year; and allowing the additional tax revenues to be collected, kept, and spent notwithstanding any limitations provided by law.