Koch Brothers $ Is Back

When the Koch Brothers mess with Colorado, Coloradans come up short.

In case you haven’t heard, Americans for Prosperity (aka The Koch Brothers) are messing with Colorado again.  This time, they are part of a coalition that has partnered with Jon Caldara and the Independence Institute, and Michael Fields of Colorado Rising/AFP to bring you Initiative #306.

The official list of coalition partners are:

Colorado Rising State Action

  • Unite for Colorado
  • Americans for Prosperity

Also part of this coalition is Dustin Zvonek (CEO of Unite for Colorado).  Like Fields, Zvonek is an AFP alumnus. https://uniteforco.org/about-us/

Under this ballot measure, Colorado would continue to be a flat rate tax state, but the tax rate drops from the current 4.63% to 4.55%.  Sounds like a great deal until you stop to think about the fact that our state relies on income taxes for General Fund revenue. And,

IF you don’t care that we see another budget year like this one with draconian cuts to education and other services provided by the state – and for the foreseeable future.

Income taxes are 61% of the General Fund and according to the Impact Statement by the nonpartisan Legislative Council Staff,

The measure reduces General Fund revenue by an estimated:

  • $78.1 million in the current FY 2019-20
  • $158.4 million in FY 2020-21, and
  • $169.8 million in FY 2021-22”

“The measure reduces the amount available to be spent or saved during the FY 2021-22 by $169.8 million.”

 

https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/initiatives/2020%2523306FI.00.pdf

Per the Colorado Fiscal Institute “Reduced income tax collection is driving the decline in revenue for our state”  https://www.coloradofiscal.org/category/blog/

It’s worth noting again:  Income taxes are 61% of the General Fund.

At the end of this legislative session, legislators, especially members of the Joint Budget Committee, expressed grave concern for future years after having dealt with a $3.3 Billion shortfall this year and a forecast of another $2 Billion shortfall next year.  It’s scary for the state and downright terrifying for our schools.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:  “COVID-19 has triggered a severe state budget crisis.  While the full magnitude of this crisis is not yet clear, state revenues are declining precipitously…”

“Colorado’s revenues could drop by as much as $2.6 billion in 2021 and $1.7 billion in 2022, according to the Legislative Council.”    https://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/states-grappling-with-hit-to-tax-collections

So, if you think that reduction in your state income taxes will get you very far, stop and think about what kind of services you expect from the state.   It’s worth noting, at the last Budget Forecast Update from the Governor’s office, the legislature was advised that the Governor’s office was taking the declining revenues very seriously and was issuing a 10% across-the-board reduction in all state departments.

The continued toll COVID is taking on state resources, the health department, and on schools; not to mention the new costs associated with the recent wildfires, especially funds for CDOT to repair I-70 along the Glenwood Canyon and Gypsum make a reduction in General Fund revenue something Colorado and Coloradans cannot afford. 

NO on 306 and tell everyone you know who lives in Colorado.

via GIPHY