The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel editorial board got hoodwinked by state Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder). That is to say they let Rollie Heath convince them to support the $3 Billion tax hike known as Prop 103 using figures that Rollie Heath supplied about the General Fund — figures that are incorrect. It's unfortunate, but understandable, as what reason would they have to believe that the initiative's lead cheerleader would push the issue with misleading or downright false figures?

Here is partly how the ed board justified its support of Prop 103 (behind paywall):

Heath also noted that the state general fund now stands at $6.8 billion, almost identical to what it was 10 years ago. But, during those 10 years, Colorado’s population has increased by some 775,000 people, and it’s K–12 student enrollment has risen by approximately 100,000 students.

It’s ridiculous to think we can meet the larger needs of 2011 with 2001 funding levels.

Rollie has proven he is willing to say or do anything to pass his tax hike — including making up budget numbers that fit his pitch.

We don't know where Rollie got his numbers, but they're not from reality.

The General Fund has grown from $5.61 Billion in 2001-2002 (source: PDF – p21) to $7.01 Billion in 2011-2012 (source: PDF – p9).

Those are the numbers.

The General Fund has increased 25% while the state's population has increased 16.9%, according to the US Census. That doesn't sound like the state trying to meet larger needs with a smaller budget. 

Ed boards beware: Rollie Heath is willing to say anything to earn your support of his tax hike. Including inventing General Fund numbers out of whole cloth.

(Photo credit: Colorado News Agency)