Romer: What exactly is Proposition CC?
Interested in the political process and worried you’ll have to wait until the 2020 presidential election to have a chance to vote? Don’t worry — this year’s ballot includes a number of local and state issues including a vote to approve or reject Proposition CC.
What exactly is Proposition CC? Proposition CC would allow the state to retain excess revenue it is currently required to refund under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Retained funds would be used for education and transportation purposes. The measure would require the state auditor to hire a private entity to conduct an annual financial audit regarding use of funds as provided under the measure.
The ballot language reads: “Without raising taxes and to better fund public schools, higher education, and roads, bridges, and transit, within a balanced budget, may the state keep and spend all the revenue it annually collects after June 30, 2019, but is not currently allowed to keep and spend under Colorado law, with an annual independent audit to show how the retained revenues are spent?”
More specifically, Proposition CC asks voters to permanently allow the state to retain revenue that would otherwise be subject to a taxpayer refund. The 2019 legislation that placed Proposition CC on the ballot states if CC is approved, the retained funds would be distributed by 1/3 going to public schools, 1/3 to higher education and 1/3 toward roads, bridges and transit.
A survey on Proposition CC was conducted by polling firm Magellen Strategies last month. Among all respondents, 54% intend to vote yes and approve the measure, 30% intend to vote no and reject it and 15% were undecided. Democratic voters overwhelmingly support Proposition CC, with 72% intending to vote yes compared to only 32% of Republicans intending to vote yes.
State representative and sponsor KC Becker said, “Colorado’s had one of the strongest economies in the country and people think that the state itself can make more investments, more improvements, but we can’t because the state constitution prohibits the budget from growing with the economy. Is this the long-term fix to any of the state’s long-term issues? No, it’s not. I think it’s a necessary, important part of it.”
Gov. Jared Polis supports allowing the state to keep the tax revenue it already collects. This common-sense policy doesn’t alter the right of citizens to vote on taxes, but allows Colorado to keep pace with a growing economy. The governor is engaging bipartisan civic leaders across the state because he believes broad bipartisan support is essential to win in November.
Not everyone supports Proposition CC. On its website, Vote No on CC argues, “There is no guarantee as to where Proposition CC’s money will go in the future. Despite the state budget growing by over $1B each and every year, the legislature still refuses to prioritize infrastructure. Giving more money to state government, without any reforms, is a bad deal for taxpayers. Since TABOR passed, our budget has grown 306%. State government has enough money, they just need to prioritize better.”
We invite you to join Vail Valley Partnership and Vail Symposium at Colorado Mountain College at 6 p.m. on October 3 as we explore Gallagher, TABOR, and Proposition CC with a bipartisan panel in advance of the fall election season. Learn more and RSVP at https://vailsymposium.org/th_event/the-state-of-the-valley-2/
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at http://www.vailvalleypartnership.com.