2018 Business Ballot Guide

As in every election, it’s important to know the facts about ballot issues. The Chamber has taken a stance on a number of critical statewide and local ballot measures. We will share not only our position on the ballot issue but, just as importantly, why we have taken that position.

Position Ballot Summary
Amendment Y and Amendment Z

Fair Maps Colorado is a congressional and legislative redistricting package. Amendment Y would create a 12-member independent congressional redistricting commission with four members from the state’s largest political party, four members from the state’s second largest political party and four unaffiliated members. Amendment Z would create a 12-member independent legislative redistricting commission of the same makeup, and would require districts to be competitive, which is defined as having reasonable potential to change political party at least once every 10 years.

Support a fair, transparent redistricting process that brings more voices to the table.
We believe it’s critical that our congressional and legislative districts reflect our communities, with ample representation of unaffiliated voters. This is a transparent, fair and distinctly Colorado approach to redistricting that should result in competitive seats throughout our state.

Amendment 73

Amendment 73 is a $1.6 billion tax increase for preschool-to-12 public education. It changes Colorado’s tax structure to a graduated income tax for income above $150,000. The current income tax rate is 4.63 percent. This proposal creates a graduated income tax between 5 percent and 8.25 percent for earnings of $150,000 and above; increases the corporate tax rate from 4.63 percent to 6 percent; reduces the residential property tax rate from 7.2 percent to 7 percent; and reduces the commercial property tax rate from 29 percent to 24 percent.

As a Chamber, we strongly support a well-funded and effective PreK-12 system; however, this proposal raises multiple concerns for our members because it places the burden of funding education on the backs of our smallest businesses, threatening their ability to succeed, and locks that burden into our state’s constitution. This measure also doesn’t propose to deliver better results or outcomes in terms of educational achievement for Colorado. We believe it’s fair for taxpayers to expect improvements like higher graduation rates or lower remediation rates in college with significant increased funding. With almost three out of four jobs in Colorado now requiring a postsecondary credential, we think education funding should include funding for both PreK-12 and higher education to ensure families and students can work in Colorado.

Amendment 74

This initiative requires property owners to be compensated for any reduction in fair market property value caused by the application of any government law or regulation.

While we believe that Colorado’s current takings law isn’t sufficiently protecting property owners, we oppose this measure. This proposal locks new policy in our constitution that is vague, broad and full of unintended consequences. Clarification and interpretation of this constitutional amendment would have to be settled through costly litigation in our courts rather than through the legislature and, as seen in other states, passage could result in hundreds of lawsuits filed against local and state government.

Proposition 109

Proposition 109 allows the state to take out $3.5 billion in bonds to address state transportation projects.

While we strongly support increased funding for our transportation system, Proposition 109 is not the answer. It has the state issuing debt with no dedicated source of revenue to pay that debt, and the debt accrued only triggers $2 billion bonding capacity, which doesn’t begin to meaningfully fund CDOT’s $9 billion project list. Because there is no new revenue source, state resources currently allocated to critical needs like health care and schools would have to be reallocated to transportation. The initiative also only addresses projects on state roads (those managed by CDOT), meaning 88 percent of roads (which are managed by local governments) in Colorado are left with no funding at all.

Proposition 110

Let’s Go Colorado would fund transportation improvements in our state through a .62 percent sales tax increase. This six cent increase on $10 would raise $767 million a year for transportation and unlock $6 billion of bonding capacity to be used for statewide projects on a priority list developed and released by the Colorado Department of Transportation; local projects determined by municipalities; and regional projects like senior bus service.

Support this statewide solution that generates funds we need to fix local roads and highways.
For decades Colorado’s transportation system has been underfunded.
We haven’t raised gas taxes, our primary source of funding for transportation, in 25 years while vehicles have become much more fuel efficient. Today, we fund transportation at about half the rate per driver than we did in 1991. That means we’re falling behind our competitors as we sit in traffic and risk our safety on crumbling roads. We need a new funding source, and this .62 percent increase, while small individually, raises enough money to truly improve our transportation system. The money is dedicated to transportation, and nothing else, and allows both our state and local communities to make improvements. It also ensures that the 40 million people who visit Colorado from another state help pay for our roads, too.

Proposition 112

This initiative requires that all new oil and gas development be located a minimum distance of 2,500 feet from occupied buildings as well as areas defined separately as vulnerable that could include playgrounds, sports fields, public parks, lakes and more.

This initiative threatens to cripple the energy sector of the state’s economy by in-effect banning almost all oil and gas development in our state. In Colorado, we know we can produce energy AND protect our environment. We have some of the most stringent oil and gas regulations in the country, including setbacks that have recently been increased. Colorado is home to some of the lowest energy costs in the country, helping make Colorado more affordable for all our working families; this ban of new development will impact those prices. We support efforts to work together to ensure we continue to provide leadership in energy production that is safe and reliable while protecting our lands.

Denver Initiative 300

Prosperity Denver would dedicate a .08 percent sales tax increase to post-secondary scholarships for Denver high school graduates. The less than a penny increase on $10 would generate nearly $14 million annually and sunset in 12 years. The new funding would underwrite scholarships, based on a sliding income scale, for eligible Denver residents between the ages of 18 and 25 who have lived in Denver for at least 36 months. Students with a high school diploma or GED may attend a Colorado-accredited public or nonprofit two- or four-year college, university, community college or technical college.

Support this statewide model of pay-for-performance scholarships.
In just two years, 74 percent of our jobs will demand a post-secondary credential, and today we fall far short of that number. To meet this workforce need, we must get more students to and through college by helping remove barriers, including financial ones. This initiative raises meaningful scholarship dollars that can be applied to certificates and degrees. The funds are awarded upon completion, motivating students to not only enroll, but complete these critical classes and degrees.

  • Position Key
  • Support
  • Oppose
  • Neutral