Colorado Politics published my latest column on the 2018 ballot issues here
CIRULI | Did Coloradans shift to the right on ballot issues? Not necessarily
Although most Colorado voters opposed new statewide taxes for schools and roads in the recent election, they were much more supportive of local tax proposals for schools, special districts and some county and municipal projects. Amendment 73, the $1.6 billion school funding proposal based on an income tax increase for upper-income taxpayers, lost statewide by 46 to 54 percent. Proposition 110, the highway bond proposal based on a sales tax increase, lost 41 to 59 percent.
But, Colorado voters are not reflexively anti-tax. They are selective in their choices, and in many cases, generous with local school districts, special districts, municipalities, counties and some special programs. That includes Republican and Democratic-leaning counties that voted against the statewide ballot issue. The following chart displays five counties, their nearly unanimous opposition to Amendment 73 and Proposition 110, but “yes” support for a host of local tax increases, some of them substantial. Schools were especially successful in their mill levy override and bond proposals, but municipal TABOR override and bond approvals and special district tax increases, such as urban drainage and flood control districts, also won voter support.