Ballot Issues 2018

October 8, 2018

Hello again.

A petulant 53 year old man-child threating U.S. Senators “What goes around, comes around,” now fades into the background. The rest of us, perhaps with some reluctance, turn our attention to a massive Colorado ballot. Here are a few of my greatest hits.

Schools or Roads

Schools get more money from Amd. 73 – enough to make a difference. It revives Colorado's graduated income tax, last seen in 1999. Along the way it raises corporate taxes and modifies property taxes. If you make more than $150k per year, your taxes will go up. If you don't, they won't. I don't like paying more taxes, but I do like educating kids. I will vote yes.

Conversely Prop. 109 cuts education money. It orders the legislature to take more out of the existing pot and spend it on roads. Great that our kids can move around on better roads; not so good if we can't buy school busses (or pay teachers). On this, I'd vote no twice if I could.

The last big money vote is Prop 110. It raises the sales tax and puts the money into transportation. The up side is better roads and public transit. The down side is how we get there. Our existing gas tax is a nearly perfect user fee – the more you drive, the more you pay. Building roads by taxing diapers, lumber and washing machines is about as imperfect as we can get. Much better to raise the gas tax or create a vehicle miles traveled fee. I'll vote no.

Holes in the Ground

I don't live next to an oil well. Glad I don't. Prop. 112 says no one will. Wish I could vote for it. But it goes further than I'm willing to go; 2,500 ft., around 8 blocks. Drilling imposes a lot of burdens on the rest of us (noxious emissions, noise, potential explosions). We ought to address each of these. The current 500 foot buffer probably isn't enough, but 8 blocks is too far for me. I'll vote no.

I can't put an oil well or hog rendering plant next to my neighbor's house. That keeps me from using my property to its fullest. Amd. 74 says the city owes me whatever amount I'm losing out on. I say it's part of the price I pay to live in a civilized society. I'll vote no.

Payday Loans

When I was in the legislature we cut back payday loans a lot. Prop. 111 cuts them down to nearly reasonable. I'll vote yes.

Here you can find more information about these and other issues I didn't get to:

Denver

Do you live in Denver? You get some bonus issues.

Property owners will pay a little more for flood control. Although I live on high ground, I'm opposed to floods. I'll vote yes on 7G.

We have 4 proposals to raise Denver's sales tax a total of 0.66%. They're all for a good purpose. But sales taxes are inherently regressive (the less you make, the bigger the burden). Raise them enough and we start shopping across the street. So, I'm picking and choosing. My winner is mental health care, Initiative 301. The other 3 are parks, 2A; college, 300; and healthy food, 302.

Four other Denver proposals have no additional taxes.

You can find more info here:

People

To end, if you're still with me this far down the page, some people preferences.

Jared Polis is one of those rare folks who's delivered so much value to people that it's made him wealthy. He's done it a couple of times, with electronic greeting cards and ordering flowers on line. I'm excited to see how he applies those talents to Colorado. I'm voting for Polis for Governor.

Jason Crow is a war hero family man giving up Denver's largest law firm to represent folks in Washington. I'm not willing to give up Denver to vote in Cong. District 6. But, I urge those with the opportunity to vote for Jason to do so.

Phil Weiser will focus the Colorado Attorney General's Office on the things Colorado cares about, the same as Ken Salazar did.

Finally, Dave Young has done a great job for us in the legislature and will do the same as Treasurer.

Until next time,
Joel

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