Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Vincent Carroll Sees “Tough Sell” for Billion-Dollar School Tax Increase

Denver Post editorial page editor, Vincent Carroll, weighed the political factors helping and hurting the K-12 school tax increase and saw it facing a very difficult, but not impossible, burden.

Proponents have an attractive list of benefits from the tax revenue and a massive amount of money to sell it. They also have a strong network of education advocates working to turn out supporters. Finally, they will get a ballot to every registered voter, giving them a better chance to increase turnout.

A few of the negative factors are:
  • The turnout in 2011? A little over 1 million. “It’s going to be an old election,” pollster and political analyst Floyd Ciruli told me, referring to the average age of voters. Amendment 66 proponents “need deep liberals” to turn out, he added, including the young and minorities.
  • “If the election were held today, this would lose.”
  • Even so, as Ciruli explains, “There is a presumption against a state tax hike and you have to overcome that presumption.”
  • And that means overcoming the ballot language itself, which poses the following stark question: “SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED BY $950,100,000 ANNUALLY ... .”
But as Carroll concludes: “Still, Amendment 66 fans need hardly despair. It wasn’t so very long ago, after all, that a blue-tinged Colorado seemed conceivable as well.”

See Denver Post: One tough sell for a tax hike

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