IP-14-92 (August 1992)
Author: Larry Sarner
Introduction by the Editor: Everyone agrees our kids and their schools deserve first priority. But must it be done by giving our hard-working Colorado taxpayers last priority? Such would be the effect of Amendment Six, the misnamed “Children First Initiative” which teacher unions and Gov. Roy Romer want voters to approve on Nov. 3.
Analyst Larry Sarner shows in this paper that the amendment’s ostensible one-third-billion tax impact (unnecessary from an educational standpoint in the first place) is understated by more than half. Several obvious questions suggest themselves:
Governor Romer talks up the national education goal of making our students the world’s best in math. Why can’t he do the simple arithmetic that reveals his proposal will tap citizens for more than twice its advertised price tag?
The Governor prides hmself on straight talk. When will he level with the public about the sneaky trigger clauses in state law that will pile on top of his $333 million sales tax hike a $192 million income tax boost and on top of that a $172 million property tax hit?
His campaign rhetoric about making our state the Athens of the West was a two-time winner. But this Trojan Horse initiative with the $700 million shocker inside deserves to lose. Sadly it seems he is playing games with geography as well as arithmetic and classics. As the Denver Post’s Bob Ewegen warned yesterday, it “Children First” passes, our name on the map will have to say Taxarado. This paper tells why.