The Coloradans will vote on three statewide polls on November 2nd, including an increase in retail marijuana sales tax, a lower property tax, and legal oversight of government spending.
The Foreign Minister had approved the motions for two proposals and one constitutional amendment by the deadline for this year’s vote. Constitutional amendments require an approval of at least 55%.
A proposal to increase recreational marijuana sales taxes would be designed to pay for additional programs for students from low-income households. The 15 percent increase in the statewide sales tax on recreational marijuana by 5 percentage points through 2024 is expected to net around $ 137 million a year.
The Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program would provide money to families for tutoring, education, mental health resources, or any type of educational program.
“Our priority, and our reason for it, is justice,” said Tim Taylor, co-founder and president of America Succeeds nonprofit. “It levels the playing field for these children because we know that the average family spends $ 5,000 a year on additional educational services for their children, and when these aren’t available to everyone, this is to ensure that more children do so. “
However, marijuana groups are concerned about the impact the measure will have on their businesses.
“While the cannabis industry strongly supports additional funding and earmarking of the existing education and mental health cannabis taxes in Colorado, we firmly believe that our customers will not support the proposed tax,” said a statement from the Marijuana Industry Group. “If this move is passed, Colorado cannabis buyers could pay close to or even more than 30% tax – this is not a sustainable rate and is way more than what customers pay for any other commodity in the state.”
This move calls on voters to lower the residential property tax rate to 6.5% and the commercial property tax rate to 26.4%, and allows the state to use $ 25 million in annual revenue for five years to reimburse local government to keep and spend.
Colorado Rising State Action, the conservative group behind the measure, believes if passed it will result in a $ 1 billion land tax cut.
But Democratic and some Republican lawmakers voted in the last session to pass a bill to undercut measure, SB 21-293, which provides $ 200 million in property tax cuts for two years and classifies tax laws into two categories would change commercial and residential property until six.
If Proposition 120 is adopted, it would be based on outdated tax categories and lawmakers say it would not allow proponents of the tax cut to quote. Opponents feared the initiative could affect funding for school districts, fire departments and other public services if they did not act.
Senator Chris Hansen, a Denver Democrat and one of the sponsors of SB 21-293, said the state now has a two-year card for its property tax policy through the new law.
“The real weakness in trying to implement these widespread measures in the vote is that it does not respond to economic conditions and the funding situation for things like public schools,” said Hansen.
But Colorado Rising State Action Executive Director Michael Fields disagrees with lawmakers’ assessment, saying lawmakers never tried to thwart a vote before it was passed. He believes there will be a legal battle if the voters agree.
“Our argument is only when these are contradicting, if there is a problem, the one that is second is the one that is in control,” Fields said.
Voters are asked if they should oblige lawmakers to determine how non-tax government money will be spent rather than allowing the state treasurer to use the dollars. Before the funds could be allocated, public hearings would have to be held where citizens could give their opinion on the expenditure. This includes money coming from the federal government and settlements through the attorney general’s office.
Fields, whose faction also supports the move, believes voters will approve it.
“When people know that money is being spent without this normal oversight and public consultation and multiple lawmakers are contributing instead of just one person making decisions, they are very open to seeing this accountability and transparency everywhere,” he said.
However, Hansen considers the measure to be a “solution in search of a problem”. Most of these types of government funding are settlements dictated by court order, and other funding is already being discussed in the legislature’s joint budget committee, he said.