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If you’re absolutely fed up with big-spending government—including taxes and fees that have offered little relief during the worst recession since World War II—Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 might seem like the perfect way to force austerity upon spendthrift politicos. But not to former Governor Bill Owens, a fiscally conservative Republican who writes in an editorial to The Denver Post that “there is a difference between demanding greater fiscal responsibility from our elected officials and literally setting back our state’s progress by decades.”
Meanwhile, business leaders gathered yesterday at Invesco Field at Mile High to reinforce claims that 73,000 public- and private-sector jobs would be lost if the measures are approved by voters this November, notes the Denver Business Journal. As Tom Clark, the executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, warned, the measures would prompt “voter-approved recession:” Amendment 60 would slice about $1.5 billion annually from K-12 education, and Amendment 61 would prevent or limit state and local governments from selling bonds to raise money for projects. Proposition 101 targets several taxes and fees for reduction, such as the state income tax and vehicle registration fees.
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The backers of the initiatives have a sparse website running at COTaxReforms.com, which claims that opponents of the measure are engaging in “voter fraud,” as well as the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. The site also posits that basic economic arguments illustrate “government spending depresses an economy, and tax relief creates jobs.”