McCluskie: Amendment 66 and investment in Colorado and Summit County’s future
November 5, 2013
We were disappointed and surprised to read the misinformed criticism of Amendment 66 ("Amendment 66 bad math," Oct. 25). Intentionally or not, the author makes a number of misleading math errors.
First, the impact on small business is overstated. The average small business may make $250,000, but the average is skewed by "small businesses" that have hundreds of employees and have organized as S-corps to avoid federal taxes. The truth is that 83 percent of Colorado's small businesses make $170,000 or less, meaning their increase would be $400 or less in additional taxes.
Of course, that is an increase, but consider the larger cost drivers for small businesses: recruiting employees from out-of-state or providing remedial training to in-state employees can cost thousands.
Second, the author either misunderstands or mischaracterizes the tax structure. The tax rate is marginal; that is, only dollars above $75,000 are taxed at 5.9 percent. Under such a structure, one would have to make $4.2 million, or 73 times the median Colorado income, to see a 26.6% tax increase.
Finally, the author submits a falsehood by saying that $6 million will go directly to the union. If you've read the legislation, you can be forgiven for not finding this provision – it's not there. Instead, $6 million is set aside to provide additional compensation to teachers who have proven to increase student test scores and who are willing to mentor other teachers. That seems commonsense, not conspiratorial.
As owners of a small local business and parents of two, we recognize how important a high-quality education is for our children, our community and this state. We support Amendment 66 because this investment is critical for the future of Colorado.
Jamie and Julie McCluskie
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