Campaigns for three initiatives in Colorado faced an August 2 signing deadline. To qualify for the ballot, 124,632 valid signatures are required.
Learning Enrichment and Academic Advancement Program and Marijuana Sales Tax Increase Initiative (# 25):
This initiative would amend state law to create the Learning enrichment and academic advancement program provide out-of-school learning opportunities for children aged 5 to 17 in subjects such as math, science, reading, writing, music, art, career education and specialist support for people with special needs. The measure would increase the retail sales tax on marijuana by 5% to partially fund the program. The initiative would result in an increase in state revenues of $ 137,600,000 per year.
Learning Opportunities for Colorado’s Kids (LEAP 4 Co) is leading the campaign to support the initiative. The committee reported $ 948,270 in contributions, of which all but $ 20 came from the Gary Community Investment Company. The committee said it had spent $ 609,012 collecting signatures until June 26. The committee’s August 2 campaign financial report covering data through July 28 had yet to be filed at the time of this article. LEAP 4 Co reported having submitted over 200,000 signatures on July 30.
Coloradans Against School Vouchers has signed up as a thematic committee to oppose the initiative but has yet to report any campaign fundraising activity.
Trust Fund Credit Initiative (# 19):
This initiative, which would change the state constitution and state law, would transfer the power to allocate trust funds (state revenue not generated by taxes) from the state treasurer to the legislature. of State. Examples of such funds include pension funds and court-approved settlement funds. The measure defines custody money as money received by the state that (1) was from a source other than the state of Colorado, (b) was allocated or provided to the state for a particular purpose, and (c) that the The state acts as a custodian or trustee to achieve the purpose for which the funds were provided.
The Expenditure Transparency Committee is leading the campaign to support the initiative. According to the August 2 campaign fundraising report covering information through July 28, the committee had received $ 1.275 million in contributions, all from Unite for Colorado, and had spent $ 1.13 million on fundraising. signatures.
Colorado’s constitutional amendments require a 55% qualified majority vote to be ratified and added to the state’s constitution. This requirement was added by Amendment 71 of 2016.
Reduce property tax rates and keep $ 25 million in the TABOR surplus revenue initiative (# 27):
This initiative would amend state law to reduce tax rates on residential and non-residential properties and allow the state to retain and spend $ 25 million in revenue above the state’s TABOR spending cap. , which it would otherwise be required to reimburse to taxpayers.
Reducing property taxes is leading the campaign to support the initiative. According to the August 2 campaign fundraising report covering information through July 28, the committee had received $ 875,000, all from Unite for Colorado, and spent $ 868,728 collecting signatures.
Sponsor of initiatives # 19 and # 27, Michael Fields, executive director of Colorado Rising Action, said about 200,000 signatures have been collected for each measure and the signatures will be submitted on August 2.
A fourth initiative, Initiative No. 31, which would amend state law to reduce the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.40%, faces a deadline signing date of October 29, 2021, to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. The measure was sponsored by Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute. A committee, Colorado Character, signed up to support the initiative on July 20, 2021.
From 2016 to 2020, successful petition campaigns cost an average of around $ 850,000, ranging from volunteer efforts to $ 2.2 million.
Measures that can be voted on statewide in Colorado in odd-numbered years are limited to matters relating to taxes or state tax matters arising from TABOR, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (Section 20 of Section X of the Colorado Constitution). This requirement was added to state law in 1994.
Measures that can be applied to elections in odd-numbered years include measures proposing new taxes, tax increases, tax extensions, changes in tax policy resulting in a gain in net tax revenue, changes in revenue or in obligations. tax, delays in voting on polling matters, and state approval to retain and spend state revenues that would otherwise be reimbursed for exceeding an estimate included in the polling information booklet .
The last time an initiative appeared in an odd-year ballot in Colorado was in 2013. The measure, which was rejected, would have changed Colorado’s flat personal tax rate to one. progressive income with increased rates. At least $ 10.4 million was raised to support the initiative.
In 2020, eight initiatives were on the ballot in Colorado. Campaigns supporting the measures received an average of $ 3.36 million in supportive contributions and $ 2.49 million in opposition contributions. Campaigns supporting and opposing the eight 2020 poll initiatives brought in a combined total of $ 46.8 million in contributions.