Please ask the Jeffco School Board to approve a Resolution supporting Fair Tax Colorado, Initiative 271!
Here’s our letter! Please send yours!
Sent: Sun, May 31, 2020 8:00 pm
Subject: Request for Resolution in support of Fair Tax Colorado 271
Since the Great Recession, our students and schools have been shorted upwards of $8 Billion.
The 2008/09 school year was the first year that education funding met the full requirements of Amendment 23 – Education received an additional $19.82 per pupil. That was also the year the Great Recession hit Colorado’s economy. (12 years ago)
In 2012/13, the Negative Factor (aka Budget Stabilization Factor) sat at $1.1 Billion. Those are dollars subtracted from school budgets statewide. It’s important to note, unlike 2008/09, the funding cuts we will experience this year forward, hit at a time when education funding is already in the hole by $572 million, never having had an opportunity to recover from the 2012/13 $1 Billion shortfall. Any increase of the BS Factor will essentially just dig us into a much deeper hole.
The Joint Budget Committee is expecting the BS Factor to increase to over $1 Billion after this session has completed final legislation and votes.
Fortunately for this fiscal year, with the help of the CARES Act dollars, Jeffco will have received a combined $40+ million and $6+ million to help with COVID19 expenses (incurred after March 1, 2020 and expensed by December 2020). Noting that these are one time dollars is important because as a result, Jeffco Schools is now looking at a 5% reduction (about $30 million) for the 2020/21 school year. However, without the infusion of any additional/future federal CARES Act money, and thanks to a combination of TABOR, a continued struggling economy, and especially if Gallagher is not repealed (an estimated $246 million drop in district Total Program Funding revenues – which the state will have to backfill in 2021-22 – a $490 million drop in all district revenues), our funding deficit will far exceed anything we have known in recent history.
These are all very good reasons to support Fair Tax Colorado’s Initiative #271.
By putting Fair Tax Colorado’s initiative #271 on the ballot our state’s voters can have a say in putting a fair tax into place that will:
Repeal the constitution requirements for a flat tax rate – currently everyone pays the same rate, regardless of whether they make $30 thousand a year or $3 million a year.
Creates a tiered tax structure – a more Fair Tax – where 100% of Coloradans would see a tax cut on their first $250,000 of income (lowers the current flat rate of 4.63% to 4.58%)
And most importantly, directs 50% of revenue raised to Primary through 12th grade education.
The Impact Statement on 271 provided by Legislative Staff estimated an increase in state revenue of $2 Billion.
In a recent survey, 7 of 10 Colorado voters said the state should avoid cuts to schools, roads, and health care by increasing taxes on the wealthy
In recent polling, when voters were asked their preference on how to close the $2 billion state budget deficit, the majority (69%) prefer to avoid cuts to state services by increasing taxes on wealthy Coloradans.
This was across party-lines, genders, ages, income levels, and geographic regions, Coloradans support a fair tax to help our communities recover from COVID19
These draconian budget reductions to Jeffco Schools’ budget will carry a sweeping effect through our county
Jeffco Schools is Jefferson County’s largest employer, when we are forced to make pay reductions or layoffs, the entire county is impacted.
Our reserves are a very limited resource and though they will help to mitigate the impact of budget reductions short term, these funds are only good for one-time expenses and after a couple of years, the district will be in danger of negatively impacting its financial ratings (Moodys and S&P’s).
Once education programs are cut or eliminated, it’s highly likely they will ever return to full term
If the district is forced to close or consolidate schools, that can’t be undone and entire communities will have been affected.
We very respectfully request the Jeffco School Board pass a resolution to support Fair Tax Colorado’s Initiative #271
Jonna Levine & Shawna Fritzler
Support Jeffco Kids
“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.” Colorado Education Network