Proposition CC, Taxes, Uncategorized

Sonnenberg: Does state government deserve more of your money?

Do you look forward to an annual tax refund check? Or do you want to donate your tax refund to the state government? That is just what Proposition CC is asking you to do – forever.

It says “without raising taxes” and technically, there is no tax rate increase but the government will keep more of your money which means you will pay more in taxes and have less in your bank account to spend on things that you or your family might need.

The politicians hope that you don’t remember that when Referendum C passed in 2005, it was to go to education and highways. Funny how, now, Proposition CC is to go for basically the same things.

So where did that money go? Who knows. As the non-partisan state staff will tell you, it is impossible to know how the money was spent. What we do know is that education and highway funding did not increase by the amount of increased revenue to the state. Why? Because politicians can change the rules by just passing a bill – and they do every budget cycle.

Do you remember the games at sporting events where they hide a ball under one of three caps and you have to try and figure out where the ball is? That was the legislative budget process with Referendum C dollars – a shell game that replaced existing spending with supposedly new dollars.

The legislature did such a poor job managing those promises for highways and bridges that in 2009 they passed another bill called FASTER that created new fees and raised current fees in the name of transportation. Where did that go and why are we running another ballot question for more funding?

My first year in the legislature was 2007, and the state budget that year was $17.11 billion. Last year’s budget was $32.52 billion. That is a $1.18 billion average increase per year, and the politicians can’t seem to prioritize the spending for the items the people of Colorado care most about. Why do we think anything would change if we pass Proposition CC? The legislature has proven they will not be good stewards of your money.

The fact is that the Colorado General Assembly and this governor have over-promised their handouts and now want you to bail them out.

I voted NO in the legislature and urge you to vote NO as well because we all know that they will spend it on their pet projects and not what they said it will be spent on – just like Referendum C in 2005.

Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg represents Senate Distict 1 in northeast Colorado.

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