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Ballot initiative aimed at boosting school funding makes ballot

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By Sal Christ

A ballot initiative aimed at boosting school funding in Colorado by raising the state’s corporate tax rate and increasing incomes taxes for the wealthy has made it on the November ballot.
Announced by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office last Thursday, Ballot Initiative 93 — also known as the “Great Schools, Thriving Communities” initiative — specifically calls for increasing the corporate tax rate by 1.37 percent, increasing income taxes for anyone whose annual income exceeds $150,000, and changing how residential property taxes are assessed for schools.
Spearheaded by Great Education Colorado, the measure — if approved by voters this fall — would generate approximately $1.6 billion in funding for P-12 public education annually; should voters approve the measure, it would be incumbent upon the Colorado General Assembly to pass a new school finance law in order to comply with the requirements put forth in the initiative, including increasing base per-pupil funding to $7,300.
The initiative is the first citizen-initiated measure to make the November ballot; backers turned in 179,390 petition signatures, of which 130,002 were accepted as valid. Proponents of the measure needed at least 98,492 signatures, including signatures “from each state Senate district, equal to two percent of the total registered electors from each respective district,” as stipulated by state law for constitutional amendments.
The Secretary of State’s Office is still reviewing six other ballot initiatives for which signatures were submitted on Aug. 3 and 6; the results of those reviews will be publicized by. Sept. 5.