Hold on to your wallets, Colorado. The 2016 election represents the largest statewide total of tax increase ballot measures for government-run schools: a total of $4.4 billion being requested by 44 school districts. Many of these increases represent unions going back to voters for a second bite at the apple, after similar measures were voted down in the past.
Some school districts are tweaking their requests this time by reducing the amount of money they are asking for, asking for just a bond instead of a bond and a mill levy override, or adding a sunset clause in order to make the proposition more taxpayer-friendly. Some of these districts may be looking to Brighton, one of the few districts to get their measure passed last year, which made a less aggressive ask by eliminating the mill levy override request.
Additionally, these tax increase measures are before voters at the same time that a shocking report was published by the Washington Post that shows more than 25% of the nation’s public school teachers are chronically absent, defined as missing at least ten school days during the year. If most workers pulled those shenanigans, they would be permanently absent.
But in the end, this is a big request that hits middle class taxpayers hard. Between soaring Obamacare premiums, Colorado’s skyrocketing housing costs, and other tax increases on the ballot, Colorado families are going to be hard-pressed to embrace these expensive measures.