Colorado voters nix tax proposals on lengthy ballot |

Colorado voters nix tax proposals on lengthy ballot

DENVER, Colorado ” Colorado voters said no to tinkering with taxes and defining when human life begins in this year’s election. But they did back a proposal opening the door to round-the-clock gambling.

Voters faced a total of 14 statewide ballot proposals, just shy of the record 15 set two years ago.

All the measures that would have brought in more tax revenue or changed how the money is divvied up have been defeated or appeared to be in trouble.

Voters rejected eliminating a tax credit for oil and gas companies, Amendment 58, to raise an estimated $321 million in the first year. They also said no to another measure to divert more severance tax dollars to pay for highways and raise the state sales tax to pay for services for the developmentally disabled.

Amendment 59 also appeared to be in trouble. It would eliminate surplus refunds under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights to provide more funding for education.

One of three measures that a coalition of unions and business groups opposed, Amendment 49, was defeated with 60 percent voting no. It would have barred governments from deducting union dues from paychecks. The coalition also claimed victory in defeating Amendment 47, which would change the state’s labor laws and barred “union shops” requiring all employees to pay fees in unionized workplaces.

The vote on another measure, Amendment 54, which unions and business groups teamed up to fight was also too close to call. It was presented as anti-corruption measure that would prevent government contractors, including unions, from making political contributions.

The vote on whether to ban public affirmative action programs was also tight but “no” votes were in the lead. Backers said the long ballot may have hurt their chances of passing Amendment 46 since many voters may have just voted no or skipped the question.

Voters did take a chance on Amendment 50, which would allow Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City to hold their own elections on whether casinos could raise betting limits from $5 to $100, operate 24 hours a day, and add other games. If the towns make those changes, the extra tax revenue would go the state’s community colleges.

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