STATE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, AMENDMENT 69, would create a state health care system, ColoradoCare, that aims to cover all residents by contracting with health care providers and administering the state’s Medicaid program, basic children’s health care programs, and other state and federal health care funds. The measure would be financed through a $25 billion tax increase, applying to nearly all sources of income. The system would also be exempt from the Colorado Taxpayers Bill of Rights. The camendment would nearly double the state’s budget and tax rate. This tax hike would be devastating for the private economy and significantly grow the size of state government.
$12 MINIMUM WAGE AMENDMENT, if approved, would raise the state’s minimum wage from $8.31 per hour to $12 per hour by 2020. The Amendment would phase in the increase by 90 cents every year until it reached $12 per hour. This would lead to fewer employment opportunities and less economic growth in the state.
EXEMPT CERTAIN POSSESSORY INTERESTS FROM PROPERTY TAXES, AMENDMENT U, would, if approved by voters, create a tax exemption for up to $6,000 or less annually for a possessory interest leasing government land or other property. If enacted, Amendment U would be a tax cut for businesses and individuals in Colorado.
TOBACCO TAX MEASURE, AMENDMENT 72, if approved, would significantly raise taxes on tobacco products in the Golden State. The current cigarette tax in the state is 84 cents per pack; under this Measure, the rate would increase by $1.75 per pack to $2.59. This is a staggering 208 percent increase. This poorly drafted Measure would also raise taxes by 55 percent on cigars, pipe tobacco, smokeless and chewing tobacco. While the Measure does not add taxes to vapor products, it is still enormously problematic. Tobacco taxes are highly regressive – affecting those least able to afford them. Furthermore, if passed, Colorado would have drastically higher tobacco taxes than all of its neighboring states, which creates a strong incentive for smuggling, black market, and cross-border purchases. Additionally, tobacco taxes usually generate far less revenue than proponents initially project. Finally, the Measure would lock in a massive and unaccountable spending increase into the state’s constitution—funding programs that have not yet been created.
SUGAR-SWEETENED BEVERAGE TAX, MEASURE 2H, would, if supported by voters, institute a two cents per ounce tax on the distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages in the city of Boulder. It is estimated this tax would raise about $4 million annually. This massive tax proposal would be passed along to consumers at the grocery store and restaurants. A 12-pack of the affected product would carry a tax of $2.88; depending upon the underlying price of the product, this could easily amount to an effective tax rate of 50 percent or more.