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In a recent Ciruli poll, a majority of likely Colorado voters support the idea of lowering state income tax, car ownership taxes, and telecommunications fees. That’s the idea behind Proposition 101, one of three tax-slashing measures on the ballot that opponents say would greatly reduce the quality of life many in the state have come to expect. According to the Northern Colorado Business Report, the poll also finds that just 45 percent would vote against Amendment 60, which would lower local property taxes that fund schools, and Amendment 61, which would prevent local and state government borrowing.
The problem with the measures, Corrine Fowler of the Colorado Progressive Coalition tells Westword, is that the consequences of their passage aren’t well understood. Teachers would be fired, classroom sizes would balloon even further, there would be cuts to police, fire, and public health departments, delays in road repairs, and so forth.
If instituted this fiscal year, the legislation would cost the state $2.1 billion in revenue and leave a mere $38 million for prisons, colleges, and human services, including homes for the mentally ill, reports The Denver Post. But activists on the left side of the political spectrum aren’t the only ones lining up against the trio of measures: 23 of 27 Republican lawmakers in the state House and five of the party’s 14 state senators have signed a letter calling for the defeat of the measures.
“Yes, these three issues are a direct reaction to poor treatment of taxpayers by Democrats,” the Republican letter reads. “However, this reaction is so far overreaching that it will ultimately kill Colorado jobs and strip local governments’ ability to provide police and fire protection and to educate our children.”