As parent, teacher, Amendment 73 is chance to support schools (letter) | VailDaily.com

As parent, teacher, Amendment 73 is chance to support schools (letter)

This November, Eagle County voters have an amazing opportunity to correct years of under-funding to our public schools. As an Eagle County voter, taxpayer, homeowner and Eagle County Schools parent and teacher, I urge all local voters to vote "yes" on Amendment 73. Here's why:

Amendment 73 is estimated to bring in $1.6 billion for public schools by raising state income taxes on corporations and people who make more than $150,000 a year. Ninety percent of Eagle County residents will not be affected by Amendment 73's proposed tax changes. Dollars will be generated by a graduated tax increase, raising taxes on the top 8 percent of earners in Colorado and large corporations. These corporations already benefit from the workers educated in Colorado's school systems; they should pay their share of what it takes to educate a high quality 21st century work force. These values align with Eagle County Schools' mission to have a globally competent work force.

Eagle County's share of these monies will be over 11 million dollars this year, and decisions about how funds will be spent are controlled locally.

What about marijuana tax dollars, wasn't that supposed to be spent on schools? The lion's shares of the marijuana taxes generated are spent on capital construction. Consider this: Eagle County just spent $144 million dollars in new construction and renovations. The marijuana taxes generated only $90 million in 2017-2018 according to the Colorado Department of Education Fact Sheet, spread over 181 school districts would be far less than local districts need. And the money from marijuana taxes is not used for programming or competitive salaries for Colorado teachers.

What about 3A and 3B mill levy override and bonds that passed in 2016? Those could sunset in 2023. Amendment 73 will permanently stabilize funding for Eagle County Schools.

Amendment 73 is an opportunity for our community to say we value education, we value our children's future and we want an equitable solution for ongoing school funding. Please vote "yes" with me this November for Amendment 73.

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Amanda Ballentine

Eagle