Certain voting measures create controversy and confusion – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4)– Elections outside the year tend to be dormant. Not the 2021 Colorado election. There are three statewide metrics and over 125 local voting questions. One of the local initiatives is being challenged in court even before the elections take place.
The Denver city attorney filed a last-minute challenge to a question about the November ballot. Ordinance 303 initiated would require the City to clean up homeless camps within 72 hours. The city attorney says that because the city allocates resources among many competing priorities, it has control over when and how it responds to complaints from citizens. The City wants the court to overturn the 72-hour requirement and has requested an expedited hearing.
One of the statewide voting issues also created controversy as well as confusion for some voters.
If you read the ballot wording in Proposition 120, it asks if the residential property tax rate should be lowered from 7.15% to 6.5% and non-residential from 29% to 26.4%.
But, if you read the blue book, it says that the discounts only apply to multi-family homes and accommodations like duplexes, triplexes, apartments, hotels, and motels. After the title council approved the wording of Proposition 120 for the ballot, the state legislature passed legislation to, in effect, block the will of voters if the measure is passed by changing the definition of residential and non-residential to exclude single-family homes, farms and commercial properties. Supporters of the measure say that if passed, they will take legal action to ensure that the original definition applies and that case law is on their side. As a rule, the law that passes last is the law that applies.
Proposition 119 is a clearer question. He asks if the tax on recreational marijuana should increase by 15% to 20% over the next 3 years, and the money – about $ 138 million per year – should be directed to a program for students of Kindergarten to Grade 12 which pays tuition fees for academic support, emotional or physical therapy, and vocational and technical training. It would also divert $ 20 million per year from the State Land Trust to the program. Low-income students would be given priority for funds which are capped at $ 1,500 per student per year.
Common Sense Institute analysis found that the program could provide two and a half hours of tutoring per week to about 95,000 students if each received the full $ 1,500. Students would choose from a list of providers certified by a new state council appointed by the governor.
The latest statewide move – Amendment 78 – was prompted in part by a CBS4 investigation that found the governor’s office controlled millions of dollars in private donations without any oversight. This money along with legal regulations and federal grants would be affected by the state legislature.
At the local level, money issues dominate the ballot. Almost 40 cities are considering tax measures. While most are sales tax increases, Denver is considering a 4.5% cap. Ten cities are also considering housing measures ranging from increasing taxes on short-term rentals to increasing spending on affordable housing and limits on the number of people who can live in one place. Five cities are deciding whether now is the time to let pot dispensaries take hold in their communities.
According to the Colorado Municipal League, since voter approval was required for tax measures in 1993, 61% of local ones have been passed.
You should have received your ballot in the mail by now and you have until November 2 to return it.