Colorado ballot break down for UCCS students

29 October 2019

Scribe editors

scribe@uccs.edu

The Colorado election happens on Nov. 4, with a few ballot measures relevant to the whole campus community.

Proposition CC Statewide

Proposition CC attempts to repeal part of a series of Colorado constitutional amendments collectively called the Tax Payers Bill of Rights (TABOR). Proposition CC requests allowing the state to permanently keep all surplus revenue without asking citizens if they can. The current system requires a referendum to be passed each time a governmental body would like to keep any of the surplus, otherwise all tax surpluses must be refunded to taxpayers.

The proposition would require that all surplus money kept be split evenly between public education, higher education and transportation departments, with estimates from the Colorado Legislative Council Staff showing that the state would likely keep $310 million above the limit imposed by TABOR in 2019-2020.

A downside to the way that the proposition is written is that it does not require that the state provide the same funding amounts to current programs. The measure also does not account for the current structure of school district funding, which means that school districts that have suffi cient funding, because school districts receive money based on property taxes, will receive the same amount of money as school districts who are in dire need of the extra revenue.

The benefit to Proposition CC passing is that, regardless of how the money is spent, an increase in funding to K-12, higher education and transportation is unlikely to hurt Colorado, when someone would get no more than $90 a year from the refunds, while some would only get $25 based on the estimates from the Colorado Legislative Council Staff.

Proposition DD Statewide

Proposition DD would legalize betting on sports in Colorado and levy a 10 percent tax on all betting proceeds.

The tax would be distributed to create a fund for water projects, to create a fund that allows those who can prove to have lost revenue from sports betting to recover money and to give money to the Offi ce of Behavioral Health to combat issues caused by increase betting availability.

Roughly 66 percent of the tax would go to the water projects designed to improve Colorado water management while the state grows, roughly 27 percent would go to the administration and regulation of the tax, roughly 5.5 percent would go to the fund for those whose revenue was harmed by sports betting and around 1 percent would go to the Offi ce of Behavior Health.

Laws against gambling do not prevent gambling, and this measure would allow Colorado to collect some money to benefit our water supply that is being contaminated by poor chemical storage methods on Fort Carson and the Air Force Academy, however with the way the resolution is written there is no guarantee that the water project money will be spent on appropriate projects.

Ballot Issue 2B El Paso County

Ballot Issue 2B is a TABOR initiative. Colorado Springs city government is requesting to keep a $7 million revenue surplus to improve parks and recreational facilities. The projects listed in the measure include specifi c parks in the city — most of which are downtown — repair and improvements to Alamo Square and the Pioneers Museum, repair to youth sports complexes and sports, trail improvements, cemetery parking lot repairs and a community park master plan for Coleman Park.

Colorado Springs thrives on its parks and trails because of tourism and transplants, but these parks are not common destinations. That does not mean, however, that projects meant to improve these parks will not change that.

Most of the parks listed are based on areas that are either in urban centers or in economically disenfranchised areas. A visit to the parks shows that money could improve the area, but the impact of these choices, other than Acacia Park and Monument Valley Park, are questionable.Ballot

Issue 2C El Paso County

Ballot Issue 2C is another TABOR measure that wants to extend a sales tax that raises money to fi x roads to 2025.

The current tax is 0.62 percent, and the extension wants to lower it to 0.57 percent. The money will be spent on road repairs and improvements within Colorado Springs city limits — which will include residential streets, park streets and golf course access — and building new roads where repair is not possible.

The tax, however, allows the city to spend the money wherever they see a need or are convinced there is a need through pressure from local groups. The city would likely have more money to improve roads were they not building gates to restrict road traffi c into upper-middle class neighborhoods behind UCCS, but the projects that the city has undertaken since the approval of the tax have signifi cantly fixed deteriorating roads such as East Platte Avenue near Academy Boulevard and North Circle Drive near East Platte Avenue.

These roads still have signifi cant work to be done after the city neglected road improvements for all of the ‘90s

Ballot Issue 2B is a TABOR initiative. Colorado Springs city government is requesting to keep a $7 million revenue surplus to improve parks and recreational facilities. The projects listed in the measure include specifi c parks in the city — most of which are downtown — repair and improvements to Alamo Square and the Pioneers Museum, repair to youth sports complexes and sports, trail improvements, cemetery parking lot repairs and a community park master plan for Coleman Park.

Colorado Springs thrives on its parks and trails because of tourism and transplants, but these parks are not common destinations. That does not mean, however, that projects meant to improve these parks will not change that.

Most of the parks listed are based on areas that are either in urban centers or in economically disenfranchised areas. A visit to the parks shows that money could improve the area, but the impact of these choices, other than Acacia Park and Monument Valley Park, are questionable.

Ballot Issue 2C El Paso County

Ballot Issue 2C is another TABOR measure that wants to extend a sales tax that raises money to fi x roads to 2025.

The current tax is 0.62 percent, and the extension wants to lower it to 0.57 percent. The money will be spent on road repairs and improvements within Colorado Springs city limits — which will include residential streets, park streets and golf course access — and building new roads where repair is not possible.

The tax, however, allows the city to spend the money wherever they see a need or are convinced there is a need through pressure from local groups. The city would likely have more money to improve roads were they not building gates to restrict road traffi c into upper-middle class neighborhoods behind UCCS, but the projects that the city has undertaken since the approval of the tax have signifi cantly fixed deteriorating roads such as East Platte Avenue near Academy Boulevard and North Circle Drive near East Platte Avenue.

These roads still have significant work to be done after the city neglected road improvements for all of the ‘90s.

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