Letter: In support of Proposition CC
Proposition CC is designed primarily as a way to revise the impact of TABOR, so that, in an economic downturn, revenues match economic growth. Many counties and most school districts in Colorado have received voter permission to keep revenue in excess of TABOR limits. Proposition CC extends this voter permission to state government by allowing for the retention of funds in excess of the TABOR limits.
During the last recession, state government revenue decreased at the same time that costs to state programs remained the same or, in some cases, costs of programs (e.g., Medicaid) increased. Since downturns and recessions are an anticipated fixture of our economic system, Proposition CC puts us in a better position to maintain and improve quality in some of the most important aspects of our lives: public schools, higher education, and transportation.
A few recent letters to the editor commenting on Proposition CC have expressed doubt that the funds will be used by state government for the purposes proposed. Proposition CC includes the assurance of accountability by specifying that independent audits of the funds will be conducted and publicly reported annually.
None of the letters commenting on Proposition CC and recommending a no vote explained the details of the plan for allocating the revenue. This oversight, or lack of research, amounted to misinforming the public about the intent for distribution of the money.
The revenue will be allocated one-third to public schools, one-third to higher education, and one-third to transportation. The public schools’ money will be distributed on a per-pupil basis and can only be used “for the purpose of improving classrooms.” The transportation money will be distributed with 60% going to the highway users tax fund, 22% to counties, and 18% to municipalities.
Saying yes to Proposition CC is an opportunity for all of us to commit to improving the quality of our children’s education, expanding access to higher education, and improving transportation across the state. Some of the negative comments and advertising about Proposition CC seems to assume that state government is some kind of remote “other.” This is a regressive view of government, embodied in the phrase that “government is the problem, not the solution.” Government can be part of “the solution” as long as we vote at every opportunity and maintain an active voice in our community life. We can be better if we work together.
Vote yes on Proposition CC and help improve education and transportation in all of Colorado.
Robert E. Rutledge, Vail
Melissa Decker, Minturn
Claire Noble, Edwards
Elyse Howard, Vail
Diane Levin, Edwards
Annie Goodman, Edwards
Nancy Shane, Gypsum
Danny Padnick, Vail
Pat Hammon, Eagle