State Democrats, GOP heavyweights square off over tax-surplus reform plan |

State Democrats, GOP heavyweights square off over tax-surplus reform plan

DENVER – Former Senate GOP leader John Andrews said Thursday that asking voters to temporarily give up their tax-surplus refunds would reward government for bad performance.Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff disagreed, saying Colorado already has one of the leanest state budgets in the nation and needs more money for vital services.Andrews and Romanoff debated two measures on the ballot this fall that would allow the state to keep $3.7 billion over the next five years that otherwise would be refunded to taxpayers.Andrews said private industry is rebounding in Colorado, and now is not the time to take money from the private sector and give it to government.Romanoff said many major business organizations have backed the ballot measures.Earlier Thursday, opponents of the two measures issued a report saying the state had wasted $62 million in 2001 for subsidies to major corporations, $44,100 on a program that exposed students to anti-war propaganda and $2,013 for sex drugs for registered sex offenders.

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