Backers of education tax hike rev up campaign with TV ads

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DENVER — Heading into the fall campaign season, the group supporting a major income tax hike aimed at providing $950 million in additional education funding has released its first television ads, both of which spotlight some of what the new revenue will pay for.

Colorado Commits to Kids, the group backing Amendment 66, is expected to put $10 million into its campaign to get voters to approve a two-tiered income tax hike that would help pay for a new school financing overhaul.

The two 15-second spots released Tuesday highlight two improvements: more teachers aides in classrooms and funding for gym class “all for $133 a year”, the cost to the average taxpayer according to the campaign.

The theme: “Big change, small price.”

“These ads demonstrate what a ‘Yes’ vote on Amendment 66 will deliver,” said Campaign Director Andrew Freedman in a press release. “By voting ‘Yes’ on Amendment 66 we can have smaller class sizes, more one-on-one attention for students and restore programs that have been eliminated or reduced as school districts have worked to balance their budgets in recent years.”

Watch the ads here:

Amendment 66 would also fund full-day kindergarten statewide; additionally, state education funding would be doled out to districts based not on attendance but on need — districts with higher percentages of at-risk students would be eligible for additional funding.

The proposed tax increase is two-fold.

On taxable income up to $75,000, the state’s rate would increase from 4.63% to 5% for all taxpayers.

For Coloradans earning more than $75,000 annually, their taxable income above that threshold would be taxed at a rate of 5.9%.

Also Tuesday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock formally endorsed Amendment 66 at a rally at Clayton Early Learning.

“Not only is this about making Colorado’s school system the top in the nation. It’s about preparing our kids –  all of our kids – to compete and succeed in the 21st century marketplace,” Hancock said.

“It’s about closing that ever-widening achievement gap and helping our at-risk youth beat the odds.”



  • Joel

    That is a income tax increase of 27.4% on the high end and 7.99% tax increase on the low end. Where will that money go? Teacher’s union pension bailouts.

  • Crazy Cat Lady

    So…the money will be doled out based not on attendance but need. If this passes, I can see—
    1. School districts making a lot more students “at-risk” to get more money.
    2. Ignoring attendance if you are “at-risk,” because, well that makes you “at-risk.”

  • Dan

    That’s a freaking huge increase in taxes. If taxable income is 100K, it’s more than $1,000 more? I hate Hickenlooper!

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