Superintendent Rob Sanders of Merino is one of our Colorado education heroes. He is such a vocal advocate of public education that he takes the time to respond to inaccurate social media posts on his own time to ensure people have facts about #YesonAmendment73.
Just a few of the examples of his posts to opponents of funding public education were pulled to share with you here, because advocacy matters:
“Amendment 73 adjusts the assessment rates on property owners. For residential it lowers from 7.2% to 7.0% and for non-residential from 29% to 24%. These changes are just for K-12. Amendment 73 only addresses K-12 revenue, as anything broader would be in violation of TABOR and single subject. It is simply not true that it impacts others. It is a campaign trick. It has been asked and answered several times already.”
“To begin with, when the ballot titles were submitted to the Title Board, some potential titles did impact the property tax assessment rates for all government entities. Those were rejected because they violated TABOR’s single subject law. Then, the non-partisan Legislative Council wrote the Fiscal Impact Statement. The Fiscal Impact Statement shows what would happen to the state if the ballot measure passed. It has no mention of any impact to anything other than education. Finally, during the review and amendment period of the blue book, this matter was raised and it was suggested that the blue book include information that other special districts would be harmed by Amendment 73. This position was rejected and not included in the Blue Book. This has been asked and answered on three different occasions. It has been answered not by the campaign, but by those in Government in charge of implementing TABOR and creating a fair system. It is simply wrong and a scare tactic by the opposition.”
“So let me ask you, when was the last time you were actually in a school? When was the last time you watched students not get services they needed because of lack of funding? When was the last time you had to make a decision to purchase textbooks rather than fix the leaking roof or the broken HVAC system or to put tires on the bus? When was the last time you watched a teacher spend their own money out of their own pocket to purchase supplies because they are given $50 a year to buy needed supplies? When was the last time you purchased a pair of shoes for a kid that could not afford them? Sure sounds like I am a bully doesn’t it? The definition of bully is a person in the position of power that uses said position to intimidate or harm those who are weaker. And if you go even further, it is one that uses that power continuously- not just one occasion.
“So let me break this down for you. Colorado is the number one economy in the nation after the recession, yet we are in the bottom quartile for taxation as well as school funding. Your $13,000 per pupil is very wrong. The way that school funding works is that every single school district gets a base amount, which is currently $8,463. Then they do what is called state equalization portion. There are these things called “factors” (which by the way the state legislature cut portions of to balance the state budget- this year alone the “Budget Stabilization Factor” is about $650,000,000- that is the amount cut from schools this current school year). There are 4 factors that help equalize dollars from district to district. Those factors are- personnel factor, size factor, cost of living factor, and at-risk factor. They do that because they know that it costs more to live in some areas, it costs more per pupil in smaller areas, and it costs more to educate students that are at-risk. So, after the base funding is added to the equalization formula (which by the way was created in 1994) my district should get $11,837.44 per pupil. But what we do get after the “BS” Factor is calculated we get $10,811.82 per pupil. Far from the $13,000 average you quote from the union.”
” By the way, you can look all this up on the Colorado Department of Education website under the school finance page. Now, keep in mind, the larger your school district is and the closer to the front-range it is- the less per pupil you get, unless there are mitigating circumstances such as at-risk populations. But, due to economies of scale, larger districts tend to have access to more programs than smaller districts and the money, while it seems like more, does not go as far in rural districts as it does in larger. And for a point of reference, yet another fact, my little district has been cut $3.5 million over the past 9 years. My entire budget is $3 million. So we’ve lost more than 1 full year of revenue in 9 years and it will only continue if we don’t change things.”
“Let’s take the comment about me hating the rich and me forcing them to leave the state. Not too sure how you can say that when you don’t know me but here are some facts. Colorado ranks 48th in the nation in per pupil spending per $1,000 of income. Also, Colorado ranks 38th in overall per pupil spending. Since the inception of the “BS” factor schools have lost $7.3 billion (yes billion). Colorado is $2,800 per pupil below the national average (again, your $13,000 per pupil is not adding up). Colorado is 49th in the nation for a competitive teacher wage and over 50% of the districts are now on a 4 day week to try to save money and attract teachers (we currently have a 5,000 teacher shortage in the state). I realize that Colorado has a flat tax. However, when taking all taxes into consideration the tax code is upside down. This information is directly from the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy. When taking all the taxes paid (not just state but federal and local as well), the less you make in Colorado, the more of a percentage your income goes to taxes. For example, if one makes $12,300 per year, 7.6% of your income goes to taxes. If you make $30,000-$52,000 per year, 8.7% of your income goes to taxes. If you make $79,000 per year, 8.3% goes to taxes. If you make $140,000 per year 7.1% of your income goes to taxes. If you make $317,000 per year, 6.3% of your income goes to taxes. If you make $1.7 million a year, 5.3% goes to taxes. When this passes all categories will stay exactly where they are with the exception of those making $317,000 per year (they will go from 6.3% to 6.9%) and those making $1.7 million (they will go from 5.3% to 7.1%). Still not equal, but closer. Doesn’t sound like hating the rich and running them out of the state when 92% of Colorado will still be paying a higher percentage of their income to taxes.”
“You never even mention the tax breaks many will see. For C-Corps the federal level was set at 35%. The additional tax on C-Corps in Colorado is an additional 4.63% making the rate in Colorado at 39.63% (which by the way is the 3rd lowest state tax rate of the 33 states that charge an additional C-Corp tax. Don’t even try to tell me that states like Texas are cheaper for C-Corps because they are not. They don’t pay a state tax but they do pay a franchise fee that is equal to or higher than the Colorado state tax) But something happened earlier this year. Something called a 14% tax cut for C-Corps federally which equates to C-Corps dropping to 21%. What we propose is that instead of the entire 14% being cut in Colorado that we add an additional 1.37% onto the existing 4.63% making it a round 6% for Colorado. So instead of Colorado C-Corps being at 25.63%, they would be at 27%. C-Corps actually see a 12.63% tax decrease overall. Low and behold, Colorado would now be the 9th lowest C-Corp rate in the nation of the 33 states that charge a C-Corp tax.“
“And, the last part you make no mention- the tax cut for all other businesses (S-Corp, LLC, Sole Proprietor etc…) and the homeowner. If you own your business and the land that it’s on, you will see a 5% property tax decrease for that portion of your property taxes go to your local district. If you own your home you will see a .02% tax cut. “
“As far as being ashamed. I will never be ashamed to put something forward that somewhat begins to equalize the playing field. That starts to deal with the Gallagher Amendment which requires business to pay 4 times the amount of taxes on their business than on their homes. I refuse to be ashamed to be standing up for the students and the teachers of Colorado- including children that are related to you. This may pass and this may not pass, but at least I did not sit on my backside waiting for someone else to come up with a solution- because nobody else is even trying.”
“Again, will not try to convince you as there is no way to convince someone that has their mind already set but I hope that those following this string will take the time to read what I actually wrote so they can make an informed decision on how to vote. We would love to get all the other people’s votes, but if we don’t, at least do it armed with the correct information and not scare tactics.”
” I’m not too sure how a 12+% tax decrease for corporations and a .02% tax decrease for residential and a 5% tax decrease for all other businesses that are not c-corps results in massive tax hikes for business. Run the tax calculator. I’ve actually seen where a person making $300,000, with a $250,000 home and a $300,000 passthrough on their LLC gets between an $800-$1200 Tax cut per year.”
Check your personal tax impact here by using the #A73ImpactCalculator – http://bit.ly/73-the-real-cost
“Also, why would the title board, legislative council, and the bluebook people not agree with your assessment? Again, impacting special districts would have violated TABOR and the single subject rule.”
“However I do understand that there is an income tax increase. Which I have explained in detail earlier in this thread.”
“I am not exactly sure where you’re seeing the business tax increase. But I’m sure it has everything to do with the fact the TABOR requires The ballot language and the bluebook language be written in a specific way. You have to remember that there are three parts to this amendment. First is The income tax increase for 8% of Colorado. Second is the 1.37% tax increase for c-corps. However, they actually see a 12+% decrease when combined with the federal tax cut rather than the 14% tax decrease that was given to them federally. And the third part is trying to address portions of the Gallagher amendment. If you are not a c-Corp you will see a 5% tax Decrease (to 24%) on the property you own. That decrease will only go to the portion that applies to schools. Gallagher requires 29% on the other special districts. And that has not changed due to this amendment. Your residential property will drop from 7.2% to 7%.”
“So therein lies the tax decreases And, I’m not going to lie, there will be in an income tax increase for 8% of Colorado. On the first few tax brackets it’s very nominal. But it does go up from there. But please look at previous post to see exactly what that does.”
“As a matter of fact, that’s exactly how the title board saw it as we submitted 22 titles of which nine were approved. The remaining ones that were not approved appeared to violate the single subject rule. The nine that were approved did not. Also, Legislative Council has backed up the facts and figures I’ve presented. So I would suggest that the former speaker of the house have some conversations with legislative Council. And thirdly, a group in opposition to amendment 73 tried to get it put in the bluebook that this would impact special districts in a negative way. Because it was simply not true the people who wrote the bluebook, by the way a non-partisan group, would not allow it to be written in the bluebook.”
“Here is how it breaks down for Douglas County School District, Jefferson County School District and since you mention Denver- here is how it breaks down for DPS. These are all numbers if Amendment 73 passes:
- Douglas County School district will gain $102.4 million
- Jefferson County will gain $134.4 million
- DPS will gain $162.8 million.
“I can give you any district in the state if you’d like.
“So DPS gets a bit more. Why? They have more students and more students who are at risk. Amendment 73 attempts to address adequacy and equity. And, besides, isn’t it our moral imperative to ensure ALL students in Colorado have access to quality teachers, technology, and resources regardless of their zip code?“
“First of all, when you do your taxes you must do your federal side first to figure out your state obligation. If you receive a huge tax cut on the federal side its disingenuous to ignore the federal side just to bring down the state side. It is a cumulative effect. And secondly, one of the side effects of TABOR is that things like this have to be written in a specific way- even if it confuses the voter. so it is in fact a huge tax cut on the federal side for a 1.37% tax increase on the state side. Making the overall tax cut 12+% for corporations. And corporations will keep 90% of the overall tax cut. It’s kind of like winning the lottery in New York for $5,000,000 and turning it down because you’d owe $100,000 in taxes in Colorado on it. Doesn’t make any sense to me at all.”
“Laura Leary Boggs I have already posted what the three districts you asked about would receive if amendment 73 passes. I’ve even told you that I could tell you what every single district in the state would receive if it passes. Your argument still does not hold true because wouldn’t you want students that live in poverty, students that have English as a secondary language, students with special needs etc. to have access to more resources?”
“Whether you can trust the Calculator or not seems to be your issue. We have used it time and time and time again to show people. It does not collect any of your personal information and store it. It does not asking for a donation at the end, like tax calculators on other oppose 73 websites. When the Calculator was built it was built with the exact formulas that go into Amendment 73 that were given to us from legislative Council, The title board approved, and the bluebook people also approved. So while you may not trust it many many many others do. And I have yet to have anyone give me anything that would change my mind because nobody has presented me with the spreadsheets. Or the figures.”
“As far as the local dollars. I won’t even get into the fact that we are all one state and all responsible for every single child in this state regardless of where we live and where they live. Many communities across the state do not have the ability to pass a local bond or mill levy overrides. Many are at the current maximum. And many don’t have the assessed valuation to make their mill result into real dollars. But I do have to tell you that many school districts across the state are having the conversation that if it does pass and even if they do have a local mill levy override that the voters passed, they can Choose to assess those additional dollars. Or, they can choose to give the taxpayer an additional local tax cut and not assess as many mills because now they’re being backfilled from the state.”
“I specifically came to this Facebook page because I knew there were many false narrative’s and just flat out untrue statements being thrown around. I am 1,000,000% confident that I will not change your mind or several others on this page. However, if even one or a handful of people look at what I’ve said, think it through, and make a decision based on the real facts rather than fear mongering then I’ve been successful.”