Election important to state’s future | VailDaily.com

Election important to state’s future

Bev Trout

On November 1st, Colorado voters will be presented with a choice on whether to approve two important referendums – Referendum C and Referendum D.

After a tremendous boom, the Colorado economy was hit with a downturn, which has now been identified as a recession. The result was a billion dollars in budget cuts hitting our schools, community and state colleges, and health care, as well as roads and bridges cutbacks and Colorado’s outstanding pension obligations for fire and police.

The proposed referendums would be a temporary five-year “timeout” from TABOR budget limits to provide funding earmarked for specific critical needs. Referendum C will be earmarked 30 percent for K-12 schools; 30 percent for health care for Colorado’s elderly, low-income and disabled citizens; 30 percent to community and state colleges; and 10 percent to the repayment of Referendum D bonds.

Referendum D will provide bonding capacity for $1.56 billion in capital improvements. $1.2 billion will address a specific list of roads and bridges; $147 million will go toward K-12 schools in dire need of repair; $50 million will be earmarked for improvements and repairs to facilities at state universities and colleges as well as community colleges; and, lastly, $175 million will be used for Colorado’s outstanding share of fire and police pension plans.

What does this mean to us as taxpayers? During the next five years, we will receive any refunds filed for with Colorado income tax forms. What will not be returned to the taxpayer in the next five years is the TABOR-designated return of funds in excess of our budget.

We need to exercise the power of our vote, whether that is for or against any proposal on the ballot. In a world where some do not have that privilege, the United States still stands as a beacon to the disenfranchised. Exercise your right on November 1st.

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