Colorado has eleven statewide initiatives on the ballot in November, four of which are amendments to the state constitution.
What is the difference between an AMENDMENT and a PROPOSITION?
An AMENDMENT amends the Colorado Constitution
a PROPOSITION changes Colorado State Statutes.
Amendment B: Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rates
IndivisibleNOCO is voting YES!
Passing Amendment B would remove the constitutional constraint, known as the Gallagher Amendment) that requires adjustments to keep 55% of the state's property taxes coming from commercial property and 45% from residential property. It would lock in the current assessment rates moving forward, which would prevent harsh statewide budget cuts. Decreases in the residential assessment rate will not be required (to maintain the ratio), and any future increases in assessment rates would require a vote of the people.
IndivisibleNOCO is voting yes on Amendment B. The Gallagher Amendment has forced Colorado’s residential property tax rate to decline by 75% since 1982. This reduction in residential
property tax rates has reduced funding for local public services like K-12 schools and fire districts and shifted the property tax burden to the point that small businesses and farmers pay four
times as much in property tax as residential owners on the same value of property. It has had a disproportionate impact of depressing the tax base on poor and rural communities, which tend to
have fewer nonresidential properties.
Amendment C: Bingo Raffles Allow Paid Help and Repeal 5-Year Minimum
IndivisibleNOCO is voting Yes!
This measure relaxes fundraising restrictions on non-profit groups so they can raise money to support critical work in our communities.
Amendment 76 – Citizen Requirement for Voting Initiative
IndivisibleNOCO is voting NO!
Amendment 76 changes the language in Colorado’s constitution by specifying that “only a citizen of the U.S. and only eligible voters that are 18 years and older are able to vote.
We believe the purpose of the unnecessary initiative may be to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment to help get out the conservative vote in a national election. This measure is an egregious attack on voting rights and is another voter suppression tactic. If enacted, it would take away the rights of 17-year old citizens who recently became eligible to vote in primaries if they are 18 by election day. It will make it harder for young people to participate in our democracy.
Amendment 77: Local Voter Approval of Gaming Limits in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek
IndivisibleNOCO is voting NO!.
IndivisibleNOCO is voting “No” Amendment 77. Constitutional relinquishment of state control of gambling in Colorado could have serious consequences to adjacent communities and the rest of the state. Gambling can add burdens to communities, including increases in mental health issues and financial problems, traffic problems, and crime rates. This amendment is designed and funded (to the tune of $ 3.4 million) by out-of-state casino organizations to benefit casino owners and profiteers, not the citizens of Colorado. While high-stakes gambling may increase tax revenues for casino cities, the benefits will not accrue to the rest of the state, other than possible increases in funding for community colleges.
Proposition EE: Cigarette, Tobacco and Nicotine Products Tax
IndivisibleNOCO is voting Yes - with caveats
This measure would incrementally increase existing cigarette and tobacco product taxes and create a new tax on nicotine products such as e-cigarettes. The measure would also create a tax on commercially marketed modified risk tobacco products (MRTP) and reduce the vendor allowance for tobacco distributors from 3.33% to 1.6% and for cigarette distributors from 4% to 0.4%. Revenues would be used to fund various health and education programs.
IndivisibleNOCO recommends voting “YES” on this ballot measure, but with a few caveats. We would prefer that Colorado voters overturn TABOR and repeal the Gallagher Amendment to address funding issues and fix the state’s tax revenue gap. We are not supportive of the idea of "sin" taxes for which the funds do not directly address the "sin," such as for programs to end nicotine addiction, educate youth on the dangers of nicotine or fund health issues from smoking. Additionally, we are concerned that Altria, the company that makes Marlboro cigarettes, had a hand in crafting this bill and one of its major competitors is already preparing a lawsuit. However, given that we are not overturning TABOR or repealing the Gallagher Amendment in this election cycle, we believe the immediate priorities are to fund education and housing development with whatever taxes we can.
Shall the following Act of the General Assembly be approved: An Act concerning adoption of an agreement among the states to elect the President of the United States by national popular vote, being Senate Bill No. 19-042?
IndivisibleNOCO supports this bill passed by the General Assembly. The President represents all of the United States and should be elected by 1 citizen, 1 vote. The electoral college system gives disproportionate power to smaller states. Since 2000, two presidents have been elected by the electoral college without a majority of the popular vote. Votes from citizens in states with larger populations count less than votes from citizens in states with larger populations.
IndivisibleNOCO has decided to refrain from making a recommendation on this initiative. We recognize the value of reintroducing wolves and appreciate that it has had a positive impact on the ecological systems in other Mountain West states. However, we are also thoughtful about the reduction in revenue due to COVID-19 that will result in challenging budget years for Colorado over the next several years. We question whether this initiative is the best use of limited funding when some wolves have already been identified in the state recently. We also see some merit to the argument that important decisions about how to maintain ecological balance should be determined by scientists and experts, rather than public opinion. After weighing the pros and cons, we encourage voters to read the IndivisibleNOCO fact sheet and come to their own decision!
Proposition 115: Prohibition on Late-Term Abortions
IndivisibleNOCO is voting NO!
IndivisibleNOCO believes this proposition is a cynical attempt by the GOP to get out the conservative vote during a presidential election year because this measure or ones similar to it have been voted down repeatedly by Colorado voters. It is an attempt to chip away at Roe v Wade. In 2014, nearly 60% of Colorado voters believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
This proposition, which would require a woman to carry a child to term, is the epitome of government overreach. It does not include exceptions for pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. It does not consider the full emotional, physical and medical factors that play into a woman’s decision. The proponents of this initiative neglect to acknowledge that abortion is a choice. A woman can choose to keep a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. A woman can choose to carry a child with congenital defects to term, knowing the child will require extraordinary care for their entire life. A woman can choose to carry her fetus to term, knowing the child will only live for a few hours. That is her right - and her choice.
Proposition 116: State Income Tax Reduction
Indivisible NOCO is voting NO!
Passing this proposition would reduce the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%. IndivisibleNOCO finds this ballot measure to be irresponsible. It is designed to damage the functions of the Colorado state government by starving it of necessary funding during a time of extraordinary stress on the state budget due to Covid-19, wildfires, and other issues. The proposed reduction in the flat tax rate would provide large benefits to high income individuals, as well as domestic and foreign corporations doing business in Colorado, while providing only minimal tax relief to lower- and middle-class taxpayers. The majority of the Initiative’s benefits would go to the top 3% of Colorado earners. Average individual taxes would be reduced by around $40, but passing the initiative would force cuts in government services that could potentially be worth much more for these individuals.
The state legislature, which consists of elected officials, has the responsibility and authority to create a workable budget with priorities established by elected officials. Subverting the normal budget processes of the legislature for the sake of accomplishing the agenda of an unelected conservative political group is an abuse of the ballot initiative process.
Proposition 117: Voter Approval Requirement for Creation of Certain Fee-Based Enterprises
IndivisibleNOCO is voting NO!
IndivisibleNOCO recommends voting “NO” on this ballot measure. Colorado has not adequately funded state services for decades, due to low taxes on wealthy residents and TABOR’s arbitrary revenue cap. Proposition 117 is just another proposed barrier to a functioning government. It creates additional barriers that stop the state from investing in its communities and providing the services millions of Coloradans rely on. Colorado prides itself on its strong economy, yet already underfunds essential services such as transportation and education. Fees and enterprises are a critical tool for our lawmakers to use in order to ensure the direct beneficiaries, highest users, or biggest polluters are paying for those systems rather than the general public. Placing additional issues on the ballot each time an enterprise is created invites more dark money from big businesses influencing voter decisions.
Proposition 118: Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
IndivisibleNOCO is voting YES!
Proposition 118 creates a low-cost family leave insurance program administered by the state government and available to a broad selection of Colorado workers, including state and local government employees, self-employed people and employees of small businesses, part-time employees, and gig workers. It not only provides a guarantee of some pay during leave, but also ensures job protection during and upon returning from leave. We know that the parents most likely to work in jobs that do not offer paid leave are in low-wage jobs and are women--disproportionately women of color and immigrant women--who are often raising very young children on their own. This program would offer protections that are critical to addressing economic and health disparities along lines of race and sex.
The insurance would provide up to twelve weeks of paid leave per year to care for a new child or sick family member. Pay is capped at a maximum of $1100/week, The cost is shared equally between employers and employees. Paid family leave is an important component of a social safety net, and this initiative is an efficient way to deliver that benefit to most workers in our state.