The Risk of Doing Nothing –
What will it cost our schools, students, community and economy?
- This year our state was forced to deal with $3.2 Billion in cuts.
- Next year’s revenue is predicted to go up slightly, …we will still be down from last year’s budget by approximately $2 Billion. (The Governor’s Office -OSPB – is targeting a 10% cut across the board for FY21-22 for budget planning.)
- The Budget Stabilization Factor grew by $601 million meaning we are now shorting our schools by $1.17 Billion in funding for FY20-21.
What happens if we, as a state, don’t take any steps to increase revenue into the General Fund?
Considering income taxes make up 61% of General Fund revenue, but income taxes will drop significantly due to high unemployment numbers.
(According to the Colorado Fiscal Institute, “Colorado lost 16,500 jobs in March and another 323,500 in April…The state’s overall unemployment rate is 11.3%, but some counties are over 20%. ) https://www.coloradofiscal.org/2020/06/forecast-five-june-2020-revenue-estimates/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=9cf5cd5d-98c8-4e7c-97b5-60f31fc17538
Less revenue (to the General Fund) from income taxes, means less $s for state services and K-12. Especially since K-12 education is 36-38% of General Fund expenditures.
It’s no secret Support Jeffco Kids has endorsed Fair Tax Colorado’s initiative #271. This initiative right-sizes Colorado’s upside-down tax code and brings much needed revenue for the state General Fund.
Upside-down tax system in Colorado?
Yes, when state and local taxes are combined, lower-income taxpayers pay an average of 8.9% of their earned income versus 6.5% highest income earners pay. Clearly, the high unemployment rate Colorado is experiencing means more taxpayers will now fall into the lower income brackets, needing a break in their taxes.
The Truth about Taxes in Colorado by the Colorado Fiscal Institute:
Much needed Revenue for the state’s General Fund:
But when 61% of revenue goes to the state’s general fund, having this increase in unemployment can only spell disaster.
Initially, Fair Tax Colorado was projected to raise $2 billion as a result of the graduated income tax structure it creates. 50% of which is designated for public education; the other 50% to help pay for services provided by the state such as health care services, transportation, etc. Due to the economic uncertainty related to COVID-19, that number may change.
Passing up this opportunity to make a long-term difference in how we fund schools and state services is the risk of doing nothing.
Here’s a link to Fair Tax Colorado’s page that will connect anyone who is either interested in signing a petition or getting a petition to collect signatures. https://fairtaxcolorado.org/sign-a-petition/
We also have petitions available to anyone interested in collecting signatures, or if you want to sign a petition: firstname.lastname@example.org
“They say, if you want to know what a community values, look at how its children are treated. If you want a sense of what a community hopes for the future, look at how it values its schools.”