I'm not saying Coloradoans (Coloradans?) are loony. Heck, my sister- and brother-in-law live there and I really like them.
OK, maybe they're mad, as in angry, about taxes, too.
Back in February, Colorado Springs got a lot of flack attention for its decision to slash property taxes.
The resulting loss of revenue meant the town also had to make some tough choices about which services would be saved and which would be cut.
Come November, all Colorado voters might follow, to some degree, Colorado Springs' lead.
Three tax-cutting proposals will be on the state ballot. The links below (PDF files) are to an analysis of each measure provided by the Colorado Legislative Council, an official state website.
- Amendment 60 would require Colorado's school districts to cut property taxes. The locally lost revenue to pay for residents' education then would be the state's responsibility.
- Amendment 61 would limit the ability of the state of Colorado and local governments to borrow money.
- Proposition 101 would gradually reduce Colorado's state income tax rate from its current 4.63 percent to 3.5 percent. If this passes, taxpayers would see the first tax rate cut in 2011, when it would go to 4.5 percent.
Prop 101 also would reduce or eliminate taxes and fees on vehicle purchases, registrations, leases and rentals during the next four years, as well as end all state and local charges on telecommunication services except for 911 fees.
Hey, I grew up in West Texas. I love the mythology of the cowboy and the guts and gumption of our independent ancestors who wanted to see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
But it's 2010, folks. Despite political propaganda that we can have it all, low or no taxes and all the services we want, that's just not true.
And sometimes, as the famous quote goes, in order for all of us to keep living in a civilized society, we have to pay taxes we don't particularly like.
Who knows, one day that tax you now oppose could benefit you. Life is funny that way.
Colorado tax cut pros and cons: If you're a voter in Colorado, I encourage you to carefully consider both sides of each tax ballot question.
In addition to the state links above, you can check out the three tax-related initiatives, as well as the other ballot questions that Colorado voters will deal with on Nov. 2, at BallotPedia.
Your Colorado Ballot Initiatives Reference is by a blogger who takes a position on each question, but in doing so also lists the pros and cons of Proposition 101, Amendment 60 and Amendment 61. At this site you'll also find links to sites that support and oppose the referenda.
Colorado Back$eatBudgeter is an online tool that lets you decide how the state's budget should be spent. As it says, cut services, raise taxes, you decide.
The New York Times talked with both Democrats and Republicans in Colorado who are concerned about what approval of the ballot measures could mean for their state.
Similar bipartisan tax-slashing worries are expressed in a Stateline.org story.
Great Education Colorado offers reasons why that group is against the three tax-related Colorado ballot initiatives.
- What government services would you give up for a lower tax bill?
- This is why I hate ballot referenda
- Maine voters repeal tax overhaul
- Arizona votes OK sales tax hike
- Calif. voters: Prop 13 'yes,' 15 & 16 'no'
- Propostition 13, still popular after 30 years
- Tax-related ballot initiative results (2008)
- State tax initiatives: on, off and maybe (2008)
- Taxes and the worldwide quality of life
- The good side of taxes
- State Tax Departments
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