Friday, September 10, 2021

Colorado Voters Asked to Decide on More Tax and Spending Measures

Colorado marijuana dispensary | Photo: Scott Lenz
Although Colorado regularly has tax initiatives, the new element in 2021 is the Republican-oriented interest group, Colorado Rising Action, which has declared it’s in the ballot initiative business. Republicans and conservative old Tea Party-allied interests have been out-of-state power in Colorado since 2018. Recalls failed, but Colorado’s relatively lax initiative process offers a myriad of possibilities. Amendment 78 is especially dear to their interests, given the billions that have flowed into Colorado in the last three years.

Amendment 78 – Legislative Control Over Legal Settlements and Federal Government Expenditures

Legal settlements and federal government funds would be subject to regular legislative appropriation. It will require a vote of at least 55%.

Proposition 119 – Increase Sales Tax on Recreational Marijuana for Out-of-Schools Programs

Proposition 119 would add a new sales tax on recreational marijuana at 3% on January 1, 2022 and increase it to 5% in 2024. It would be added to the state’s current 15% tax. The estimated $138 million annual new revenue would go to out-of-school learning.

Proposition 120 – Lower Property Tax Assessments

The initiative would lower the property tax assessment rate for residential homes from 6.8% to 6.5% and for commercial properties from 29% to 26.4%. The Democratic legislature last year passed a conflicting statute, and if Proposition 120 passes, it will likely produce a legal battle.

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