Colorado voters reject Amendment 66’s proposed $1 billion income tax increase |

Colorado voters reject Amendment 66’s proposed $1 billion income tax increase

Supporters of Amendment 66 in Summit County came out dressed in costumes on Halloween. The state income tax increase, which did not pass, would have raised $950 million in its first full year to fund public schools.
Courtesy of Julie McCluskie |

Colorado voters have rejected a $1 billion income tax increase for school funding.

Amendment 66, voted down Tuesday night, would have created wholesale changes for how Colorado funds public education — from expanded preschool to more money for K-12 schools with high numbers of at-risk students. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the measure had lost with 65 percent voting “no” to 35 percent voting “yes.”

The measure would have raised income taxes from 4.63 percent to 5 percent for taxable income up to $75,000 a year. Income above $75,000 would have been taxed at 5.9 percent.

The school funding overhaul was approved by lawmakers earlier this year but required voter approval to take effect. Amendment 66’s loss means that Colorado will retain a flat income tax structure in place since the 1980s.

Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton issued the following statement: “Today Coloradans rejected an imperfect bill to reform our education system that left open too many unanswered questions. Having spent the last eight months arguing this particular bill was not the right path for Coloradans tonight’s result does not mean education reform is dead in Colorado. We will go back to the drawing board to reform our vitally important public education system the right way.”

Under the amendment, Summit County School District would have received an additional $2.6 million, bringing its total education budget to $23.2 million. Summit School District board of education president Margaret Carlson said the result was not what she was hoping for.

“It’s definitely disappointing, but we’re grateful to people here locally and across the state who did vote in favor of 66,” she said.

Carlson said the district has been working with limited financial support from the state, and if the amendment had passed, she said it would have made things easier for the district to support teachers and staff.

“We’re no less committed to ensuring all students receive a high-quality education,” she said. “If 66 had passed, our teachers would have received much more support. We’ll continue working as hard as we can, with what we have, to implement the education reforms.”

Summit Daily News reporter Kelsey Fowler contributed to this report.

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