Without raising taxes and to better fund public schools, higher education, and roads, bridges, and transit, within a balanced budget, may the state keep and spend all the revenue it annually collects after June 30, 2019, but is not currently allowed to keep and spend under Colorado law, with an annual independent audit to show how the retained revenues are spent?
Note: The Ballot Title will not appear in the Denver Revised Municipal Code. The text of the measure that will appear in the Denver Revised Municipal Code is listed below under Full Text.
Colorado Proposition CC, Retain Revenue for Transportation and Education TABOR Measure (2019)
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, 24-77-103.6, amend (2) introductory portion and (4); and add (1)(c), (2.5), and (5.5) as follows:
24-77-103.6. Retention of excess state revenues - general fund exempt account - required uses - excess state revenues legislative report. (1) (c) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, FOR EACH FISCAL YEAR COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2019, THE STATE IS AUTHORIZED TO RETAIN AND SPEND ALL STATE REVENUES IN EXCESS OF THE LIMITATION ON STATE FISCAL YEAR SPENDING THAT THE STATE WOULD OTHERWISE BE REQUIRED TO REFUND UNDER SECTION 20 (7)(d) OF ARTICLE X OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION IF THE VOTERS HAD NOT APPROVED THIS SUBSECTION (1)(c) AT THE NOVEMBER 2019 STATEWIDE ELECTION.
(2) There is hereby created in the general fund the general fund exempt account, which shall consist of an amount of moneys equal to the amount of state revenues in excess of the limitation on state fiscal year spending that the state retains for a given fiscal year pursuant to this section. The moneys in the account THAT CORRESPOND TO SUBSECTION (1)(b) OF THIS SECTION shall be appropriated or transferred by the general assembly for the following purposes: (2.5) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL APPROPRIATE OR THE STATE TREASURER SHALL TRANSFER THE MONEY IN THE GENERAL FUND EXEMPT ACCOUNT THAT CORRESPONDS TO SUBSECTION (1)(c) OF THIS SECTION TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR:
(a) PUBLIC SCHOOLS;
(b) HIGHER EDUCATION; AND
(c) ROADS, BRIDGES, AND TRANSIT.
(4) The approval of this section by the registered electors of the state voting on the issue at the November 2005 statewide election constitutes a AND THE NOVEMBER 2019 STATEWIDE ELECTION CONSTITUTE voter-approved revenue change CHANGES to allow the retention and expenditure of state revenues in excess of the limitation on state fiscal year spending.
(5.5) THE STATE AUDITOR SHALL CONTRACT WITH A PRIVATE ENTITY TO ANNUALLY CONDUCT AN INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL AUDIT REGARDING THE USE OF THE MONEY IN THE GENERAL FUND EXEMPT ACCOUNT THAT IS APPROPRIATED OR TRANSFERRED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION (2.5) OF THIS SECTION.
SECTION 2. Refer to people under referendum. At the election held on November 5, 2019, the secretary of state shall submit this act by its ballot title to the registered electors of the state for their approval or rejection. Each elector voting at the election may cast a vote either "Yes/For" or "No/Against" on the following ballot title: "Without raising taxes and to better fund public schools, higher education, and roads, bridges, and transit, within a balanced budget, may the state keep and spend all the revenue it annually collects after June 30, 2019, but is not currently allowed to keep and spend under Colorado law, with an annual independent audit to show how the retained revenues are spent?" Except as otherwise provided in section 1-40-123, Colorado Revised Statutes, if a majority of the electors voting on the ballot title vote "Yes/For", then the act will become part of the Colorado Revised Statutes.
1) Proposition CC provides more money for critical investments in Colorado’s future without raising tax rates. By allowing the state to keep the money it already collects, the measure provides needed funding for K-12 education, higher education, and transportation. While Colorado currently ranks in the top third of states in household income, it ranks in the bottom third in per-pupil public spending on both K-12 and higher education. Further, the state’s roads are deteriorating while the cost of improvements continues to increase. Addressing these challenges requires statewide investment, and Proposition CC provides revenue for these investments immediately and into the future.
2) Proposition CC allows elected officials to make better policy decisions while preserving the citizens’ right to vote on any new state taxes and tax rate increases. Because these tax increases will still require voter approval if the measure passes, state government spending will remain limited. Proposition CC simply allows the state government to keep the money it already collects. Similar measures have been approved by voters in most Colorado counties, cities, and school districts.
1) Proposition CC results in higher taxes by permanently eliminating all state TABOR refunds required by the Colorado Constitution. Taxpayers are being asked to sacrifice their refunds to pay for programs that should already be funded within the state budget. Even with the limit, the state government has already shifted money between funds and raised fees and tolls to increase its revenue faster than inflation and state population growth. Proposition CC will cause government to expand at an even faster pace.
2) Proposition CC continues to erode taxpayer protections in the Colorado Constitution. Instead of asking voters for permission to keep specific amounts of money collected above the revenue limit each year, the state government is asking voters to give up refunds of unknown amounts forever. The measure broadly directs where the new money will be spent, but the specifics can be changed in the future without voter approval. Further, while spending this new money for education and transportation, the legislature could redirect existing funds to any other purpose.
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