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Education tax proposals take next step

The two dozen proposals for raising the tax revenue needed for an education funding overhaul are taking a step closer to the ballot box.

All 24 ballot measures that propose various tax increases to augment K-12 revenues have been filed with the Department of State and are scheduled for hearings on April 17.

Eight of the proposals were filed by the advocacy group Great Education Colorado, and 16 are proposed by Colorado Forum, a business group that works on constitutional and fiscal issues. Most propose income tax increases of between $900 million and $1 billion.

Backers of both sets met last Friday with legislative staff lawyers and analysts who reviewed the proposals and posed questions intended to clarify the backers’ intent. Some were revised in response to those questions. (See this page for links to all versions of each proposal, including the final ones. The measures in question are numbers 13 through 37.)

The measures are proposed to raise the revenue that will be needed to implement Senate Bill 13-213, the proposed overhaul of the state’s school finance system and formulas. (See this EdNews story about the bill, and see this article for background on the 24 proposals.)

The April 17 hearings will be held by what’s called the Title Board, a three-member group of state officials that determines whether a measure covers only a single subject and sets the titles that will appear on the ballot.

Ballot measure proponents often file multiple proposals for various reasons, including having backups in case a version is challenged successfully. Only one school tax increase is expected to be proposed to voters.

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