Tax Reform Measures Rejected Decisively

Opponents branded Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 as "The Terrible Three." Tuesday's results show that message stuck with voters.

11 News is told opponents to the measures collected around $6-million in campaign funds. Their goal: telling you these measures would be bad for Colorado and possibly bankrupt the state.

By contrast those seeking tax reform and tax relief had about $12,000 to spend and were pretty hidden, so a huge difference in the amount of financial support and the ability to spread their message.

Those pushing the three spending measures tell 11 News 140,000 people signed their petitions to get these issues on the ballot. But the numbers show even though most voters knew they would save hundreds of dollars, they thought the measures were too extreme- hurting schools and costing jobs.

Polling in the last few months reportedly showed Amendments 60 and 61 had 30% support. But we're told Proposition 101, which virtually would've eliminated the fees you pay to license cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and RVs, had more than 50% support.

So opponents stepped up the attack, buying more television time and yard signs. Rallies were held against the issues. Attorney General John Suthers said the state's entire operating budget would have to be used to pay for K-12 education and nothing else.

Colorado Springs School District 20 held meetings telling parents that iIt would lose $35 million in local property tax revenue and more than $4 million in those license plate fees.

Pueblo County Commissioner Jeff Chostner told me the 60, 61 and 101 would've spelled catastrophe, with up to a 50% budget cut- meaning Pueblo County would only be able to pay for public health and safety, nothing else.
Tonight, local opponents to 60, 61, and 101 gathered downtown at Southside Johnny's to watch the results.

The President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce told 11 News he believes voters were savvy enough to know that 60, 61, and 101 would hurt ... not help.

Dave Csintyan says, "I think the true story speaks to the job losses. We may have experienced 73,000. The teachers lost I believe that number was 8,000, and the list goes on and on. Our ability to bond to make sure we're securing our future with wise investments... looks like all of that will remain in play."

11 News talked to Natalie Menten, a Colorado small business owner who spearheaded the push for 60, 61, and 101. She said she knew it would be a David versus Goliath fight. She tells me tax reformers simply couldn't overcome the scare tactics used by their opponents. She called these issues "moderate tax measures," but most folks didn't buy that argument.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Lawrence Location: Fountain on Nov 4, 2010 at 05:33 AM
    Based on some comments posted they are perfect examples that more money in education means nothing. Get back to basics when we did not need all the fancy buildings and equipment. Sit with our children and spend time not money in education. Studies have shown this over and over again. More money is not an answer to better education. We waist our tax dollars.
  • by Bill Location: Fountain on Nov 4, 2010 at 03:05 AM
    The man who has been out of a job going on eight months, the woman who has three kids to feed, the retiree struggling on their fixed income, the couple budgeting to save for the long-term. EVERYONE is "looking out for number one", including those spending millions on 'no', ... and to say otherwise would be incredibly naive. But, not to lose sight on what is in the best interest of our state, feel free to add a large donation to your state income tax form in April. You can feel assured it will go a long way.
  • by Lorri Location: Limon on Nov 3, 2010 at 06:16 PM
    Interesting that the thoughtful, well considered statements are from those who opposed these ridiculous and short sighted measures. There seems to be a pattern of "take care of number one" in the comments from those in favor...hmmm Colorado cannot afford for any of us to lose sight of what is in the best interest of most of our state.
  • by Dave Location: Pluto on Nov 3, 2010 at 05:53 PM
    Based on some of the comments posted, I am glad we didn't cut funds for education. In fact, maybe we need to increase taxes to fund education to teach some of you how to write a proper sentence!
  • by mom Location: colorado springs on Nov 3, 2010 at 05:46 PM
    1. Crying all the time about loosing jobs well welcome to the real world 101.You cry too much so the town no longer belives the cryer We are loosing jobs now..because the company we work for can no longer grow due to paying taxes and fees to govenrment agencies. Why not fix the system first I know it is harder but work is hard. 2.I stand behind paying taxes and say thank you all the time when I see a teacher, fireman or officer. So lets do this, out of the many tax dollars collected, cut out your share and let the tax payer decide how you spend it.Taxpayers have more experience in bugeting. We have tried your way and you keep coming back and asking for more taxes on other services.We pay taxes on homes, cars, phone bill, toll calls, hotel, resturaunts, gas, and income and we survive. Taxpayers have experience and the knowledge of streaching a dollar when a household does not have much. Governments are a necessary evil but enough is enougth prove you can change
  • by Jacob on Nov 3, 2010 at 03:09 PM
    I understand the protection services, and schools are a necessity and want and we need to pay taxes end of that issue. But enough waste We are tired of a system that does not have any requirement or incentive to do the best job for the money. It does not work when you give and give. We are so worried about passing pot laws and getting revenue taxes from gambling and pot. I want the revenue to go to the police, fire department and school but you are fooling your self if you think that is where it goes.
  • by Linda Location: Sterling on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:03 AM
    I, for one, think that IF the people who were behind defeating this measure would use that money to put back into the TAX fund they love, we would all have gotten a tax break. I am sick of giving a blank check for free spending and paying the executives that run the system more and more money, when the rest of the people they supposedly serve live in poverty. Something is wrong here Colorado, when you all believe the State would go bankrupt if these issued passed! How about better management of the funds that are given and STOP THE WASTE. I worked in a Government system for many years and know the gimmicks & tricks that are used so I hope all of you that voted to defeat these bills have a lot of money so maybe YOU can pay those ever increasing taxes & stop burdening the rest of us, or better yet WAKE UP and stop believing the nonsense.
  • by Larry J Location: CoS on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:01 AM
    What are you guys... Some kinda genetic experiment? Although I have read it, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if we do not pay taxes, fees and the such, there are no funds to pay for the "free" services that most of us complain about when they are not there. There is a reason why CSPD can't respond to every incident they get a call on. Every one of you selfish clowns that voted against property tax increases are the reasons why! And the jacked-up thing is that it is many of YOU that are doing most of the complaining about what CSPD (and other city services) can and cannot do! 1+1 will NEVER equal 3! But you supporters of those props seem to think so. They needed to fail.
  • by Mark on Nov 3, 2010 at 07:18 AM
    How about showing responsbility first, now there is a plan. Both parties are at fault, we just keep giving and giving waiting to find that one person that saids stop lets manage our funds, that is backword thinking.
  • by LS Location: C/S on Nov 3, 2010 at 07:02 AM
    A lot of us did do our research and no, I don't like to pay taxes anymore than the next person. These tax breaks may have been good for the short-term, but you also have to look at the long-term, and if these had passed, Colorado would most definitely be broke in a few years. I'm sorry but I would rather continue paying the current taxes instead of risking more schools being cut and more teachers losing their jobs. The classrooms and schools are already overcrowded. How about people stop having babies, that would definitely help. How about people on welfare, food stamps, and other public assistance actually get up and TRY to do something other than sit on their behinds and let us hardworking taxpayers pay their way.
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