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Coloradans rally for and against Amendment 66

Schools graphic

DENVER — It will be one of the biggest questions on the November ballot: Should Colorado increase the income tax in order to increase funding for education?

Amendment 66 calls would increase the income tax an average of $133 dollars a year, providing a $1 billion increase in education funding.

Supporters of Amendment 66 took their campaign to the streets on Saturday. Lieutenant Governor Joseph Garcia helped kick off two of the 15 statewide rallies today for Amendment 66.

“People will be able to see how every dollar is spent in their particular district,” Garcia said. “In their particular school building.”

One of the biggest rallies took place in Jefferson County, a political battleground in many elections and state’s largest district for years. Parents and teachers in JeffCo said there is a lot at stake.

“I want my kids to have the same high quality education in JeffCo that I had as a graduate of JeffCo Public Schools,” said Ami Prichard, a mother and teacher in the district. “Right now it’s kind of threatened.”

Prichard argues that education is threatened because Colorado lacks behind others in per-pupil funding. She says the 1 billion in additional funding would help offset the money lost since 2008.

Supporters of Amendment 66 have already rolled out television ads advocating for the tax increase, and by the end of the day Saturday, volunteers knocked on 50,000-60,000 doors across the state to bolster that message.

Opponents of Amendment 66 are also trying to spread their message. Earlier in the week, several groups came together for a news conference to explain why they will vote against it.

“We strongly support education, but we vigorously urge all Coloradans to turn down this graduated income tax,” said John Brackney with the south metro chamber.

Those who oppose Amendment 66 argue that the increased tax will put a drain on the economy, and that the price tag will be too much for many Coloradans.

“Ten dollars a month to working families, to seniors, is a co-pay to see a medical professional,” said former state senator Bob Haggedorn. “It’s what a generic prescription drug costs.”

Supporters of Amendment 66 say the increased cost will be worth it if the state wants to stay competitive.

“We’re not supporting our kids at the same rate as other states,” Prichard said. “It’s really scary because I know my kids are going to be competing with kids from other states.”

12 comments

  • Matt

    Obama care is going to cost me an additional $133.00 a month starting in 2014. Amendment 66 will primarily fund teachers pension, PERA which they contribute very little too. NO on 66. As usual they tell you “kids come first” where does it say that in 66? Re-appropriate lottery funds to or education system like most states do.

  • Mongoose

    This small investment will have huge benefits for all Colorado kids in the future. We are so far behind other states and we owe it to our teachers and our children to provide them with the resources they need. Vote YES on amendment 66!!

  • Paul

    Get rid of the unions and you’ll have your $133 per month. And my taxes won’t have to go up again while the lame and lazy pay no taxes at all.

  • Kenneth Swindall

    Here we go again with the same song and dance; the same vague assurances. Give us more money and we’ll fix it, set things right, fund this, restore that…your children’s future depends on it! No amount of money will ever be enough for public education. Consider this tax on the people of Colorado along with skyrocketing health insurance premiums (thanks Obama) and higher energy rates from SB252 (thanks Hickenlooper). I hope the citizens will see through this sham and vote NO.

  • m.d.thomas

    More taxes, can’t any public official operate within a budget, use what you have, and leave the rest of what I have ALONE !

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