Colorado Amendment 59: a deceptive tax hike

The Denver Post posted my letter on-line a couple weeks ago:

Amendment 59 Raises Taxes

Re: “SAFE gets Colorado back on track,” Sept. 25 Gail Schoettler column.

Amendment 59 is based on deception, and former Colorado State Treasurer Gail Schoettler perpetuates this deceit.

Amendment 59 would raise your taxes. Schoettler denies this, saying that “Amendment 59 will ensure that your tax rates will stay exactly the same as they are now.”

But Amendment 59 would raise taxes without raising tax rates. The Colorado Constitution guarantees taxpayers a refund when the state collects excess taxes. Amendment 59 would force us to donate this refund to a so-called “Savings Account for Education.” That’s a tax increase. Ms. Schoettler’s mentioning constant tax rates is misleading.

A second deceit is that Amendment 59 is a “Savings Account for Education.” There’s a difference between education and government-funded schools. Just Google “college illiteracy.” Further, Schoettler writes that 59 “frees up money for critical things our citizens need.” That is, not schools. If you want to spend your own money on education not favored by politicians, tough luck. To Schoettler, the needs you want to finance with your own money are irrelevant.

Amendment 59 uses the “for the kids” sales pitch to give politicians a blank check from your bank account to spend your money on whatever they please.

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