Schwartz Refutes Amendment 59 Claims

Brian Schwartz writes for The Denver Post:

Amendment 59 would raise your taxes. [Former Colorado State Treasurer Gai] Schoettler denies this, saying that “Amendment 59 will ensure that your tax rates will stay exactly the same as they are now.”

But Amendment 59 would raise taxes without raising tax rates. The Colorado Constitution guarantees taxpayers a refund when the state collects excess taxes. Amendment 59 would force us to donate this refund to a so-called “Savings Account for Education.” That’s a tax increase. Ms. Schoettler’s mentioning constant tax rates is misleading.

A second deceit is that Amendment 59 is a “Savings Account for Education.” There’s a difference between education and government-funded schools. Just Google “college illiteracy.” Further, Schoettler writes that 59 “frees up money for critical things our citizens need.” That is, not schools. If you want to spend your own money on education not favored by politicians, tough luck. To Schoettler, the needs you want to finance with your own money are irrelevant.

Coloradans should vote down Amendment 59. Then, in a couple of years, the legislature can refer a measure to repeal the existing constitutional spending mandate for schools that generates some of the budgetary problems.

For more information, see my op-ed regarding Amendment 59.