shine trader limited reports:
Colorado voters defeated Proposition 119, a proposed increase to the state’s retail marijuana sales tax that would have helped fund out-of-school learning efforts, as well as the two other statewide measures in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results.
The other two measures, Proposition 120 and Amendment 78, called for a reduction in property tax assessment rates and a requirement for all state spending to go through the Colorado legislature, respectively.
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More than 1.2 million Colorado voters had cast ballots in Tuesday’s election as of 5 p.m. — about 31% of the state’s active registered voters.
Voters rejected Proposition 119 by 54.4% to 45.6%; Proposition 120 by 56.63% to 43.37%; and Amendment 78 — which would have required 55% of the vote to pass — by 56.18% to 43.82%, as of results posted at 10:53 p.m.
Proposition 119 called for a 5-percentage-point increase on the state’s 15% sales tax for retail marijuana by 2024 (starting with a 3% rate increase in 2022 and 4% in 2023). The money raised would have gone toward out-of-school enrichment programs with a priority on kids from low-income households. It had both bipartisan support and opposition.
Proponents conceded defeat Tuesday night, saying the results of the election would only make the achievement gap between students from wealthy families and those from low-income households worse.
“Access to affordable, quality after-school education services is not a possibility for many families living in Colorado — and we will work with anyone who has a better idea on how to tackle the problem,” Curtis Hubbard, a Yes on Prop 119 campaign spokesperson, said in a statement.
Opponents had argued that the measure wasn’t what it seemed and would have increased already high marijuana taxes, and that the plans lacked transparency for how dollars would have been spent.
“Momentum has steadily shifted against Prop 119 in recent weeks as voters learned more about it and how it would take money from public schools,” Wendy Howell, CO Working Families Party state director, said in a statement Tuesday after early returns.
Peter Marcus, a spokesman for Boulder-based cannabis company Terrapin, called Proposition 119 a “misguided policy.”
“Despite being significantly outspent by proponents, Colorado voters still soundly rejected using cannabis as a piggy bank for out-of-state special interest projects,” he wrote in a statement. “Coloradans understand that lawmakers struck an appropriate balance when they planned for cannabis taxes. Disrupting that system would only set successful regulation back.”
Proposition 120 and Amendment 78 were backed by conservative political group Colorado Rising State Action, and executive director Michael Fields conceded the measures’ defeat after 9 p.m.
Proposition 120 called for cutting the residential tax assessment rate from 7.15% to 6.5% and commercial property tax assessment rate from 29% to 26.4%, with backers saying it would have saved an average of $1 billion annually.
It was complicated, though, because the Democratic-majority Colorado legislature passed bipartisan SB21-293 this year in an attempt to thwart the measure by approving $200 million in property tax cuts for two years and changing the tax code classifications from two categories to six. Opponents of the proposed measure argued that a permanent tax cu t would negatively affect local governments, special districts and services residents rely on, and say with the passage of their bill, the ballot measure won’t do what proponents are promising.
By the time SB21-293 had became law, it was too late for Colorado Rising State Action to make the changes to the ballot language regarding the tax categories.
With SB21-293 in effect, Proposition 120 would have only applied to multifamily residential properties and commercial lodging.
“I don’t think that (the vote) reflects the frustration that people have with higher property taxes they’re getting,” Fields said, adding that the property tax issue isn’t one that will be going away any time soon and that his group will keep pushing for cuts.
One of SB21-293’s sponsors, Sen. Chris Hansen, said he was surprised by the results of Proposition 120 because of spending by proponents and no organized campaign against the measure, but he said it would have been a “backward move” to approve it.
Reprint indicated source：Spark Global Limited information