CSSGA, along with CRMCA, took positions on several statewide ballot issues in support of the business community. Here is a comprehensive list of our position and the outcomes of these measures.
Amendment B: Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rates
Passed – 57.37% to 42.63%
This initiative repeals the Gallagher Amendment, which required 45% of the total share of state property taxes come from residential property taxes and 55% of the total share of state property taxes come from non-residential (commercial) property taxes.
We’re pleased that Colorado voters saw the challenge presented by locking a formula like Gallagher into our Constitution. While this repeal can’t undo decades of shifting our tax burden onto businesses, it does stabilize property rates where they are today. This adds much-needed predictability for businesses at a time they need it most and will help fund essential local services foundational to any strong economy like transportation, education and public safety.
Proposition 113: Adopt Agreement to Elect U.S. Presidents by National Popular Vote
Passed – 52.16% to 47.84%
Proposition 113 affirms Colorado’s participation in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). States in the NPVIC agree to give their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the National Popular Vote, regardless of which candidate wins in that respective state.
We opposed this proposition and hope the passage will not reduce Colorado’s political voice by handing our electoral votes to whichever candidate wins states with larger populations, like California. The compact won’t take effect until enough states sign on to represent 270 electoral votes, which will be a challenge. With Colorado, the compact represents 15 states and 196 electoral votes.
Proposition 116: State Income Tax Rate Reduction
Passed – 57.25% to 42.75%
This proposition decreases the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%.
We know it’s hard to say no to a personal income tax reduction, so while we’re disappointed, we aren’t shocked by the results. Colorado’s income tax rate has never been a hurdle in the economic development efforts that have led us to be the top economy in the country. This reduction will dig a bigger budget hole for our state, presenting even more challenges in terms of supporting foundational government services like transportation. While we know every dollar counts for Coloradans right now, we worry that this cut has more downsides than upsides for all of us as our state struggles to fund its core responsibilities.
Proposition 117: Voter Approval Requirement for Creation of Certain Fee-Based Enterprises
Passed – 52.42% to 47.58%
This initiative requires voter approval of new state enterprises if the enterprise’s projected or actual revenue from fees and surcharges is greater than $100 million within its first five years.
Fees, when properly identified as fees, can and should be utilized to help fund specific initiatives directly tied to those fees. The passage of this measure concerns us in that it may paralyze our state’s ability to generate new revenue to cover specific uses. It creates a barrier to generating fee-based revenue, which our state has historically used for everything from fixing bridges to increasing access to health care to funding higher education via tuition.
Proposition 118: Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
Passed – 57% to 43%
This initiative establishes a state-administered paid family and medical leave program funded by a payroll tax on employers and workers.
The passage of Proposition 118 is concerning to us because we don’t believe the state can financially sustain the program or timely deliver on the promised benefits. We know paid family leave is a critical issue to address but believe the approach in Proposition 118 puts benefits at risk at times when families will need them most. Because we fear there will be unintended consequences from this ballot issue, we will devote our efforts to minimizing the risks for Colorado employers and employees.
Thanks to the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce for providing an extensive overview of the measures and potential impacts on the Colorado Business Community.