I'M CALLING THIS A BALLOT OVERVIEW RATHER THAN A BALLOT GUIDE FOR A REASON I am going to lay out why I am voting the way I am voting. I am not TELLING you how to vote and I sure hope that you will continue to do your research and draw your own conclusions. But here is what I think, and I'm hoping it guides you to agree with me!
AMENDMENT B: REPEAL GALLAGHER AMENDMENT The thing you need to know about the Gallagher Amendment is that is a formula that keeps your property taxes very low. This is a very, very good thing. Gallagher isn't perfect, but it's very, very good. We currently enjoy some of the lowest property tax rates IN THE NATION. I find property taxes to be the most odious of taxes because you can never REALLY own your own property because you have to pay property taxes every year and if you don't they take your home. There are issues with Gallagher to be sure, as the ratio has put a disproportionate burden on businesses (they they pass on to us, the customers) but a full repeal is the wrong move to fix those issues.
NO ON AMENDMENT B
AMENDMENT C: CONDUCT OF CHARITABLE GAMING This seems to be nothing more than some housekeeping that allows charities to hire outside companies to run games of chance as a fundraiser and shortens the time they must be in existence before they are allowed to run such games. This is a boon to small charities without large teams of volunteers.
YES ON AMENDMENT C
AMENDMENT 76: CITIZENSHIP QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS This is also a bit of housekeeping but it clarifies and solidifies two things. One, that you MUST be a citizen to vote in any Colorado election. And two, that you MUST be 18 years old to vote in an election. Now that cities in other states are allowing non-citizens to vote in elections and considering lowering the voting age to 16, we need this here.
YES ON AMENDMENT 76
AMENDMENT 77: LOCAL VOTER APPROVAL OF BET LIMITS AND GAMES First off, I HATE that any community is given preferential treatment in the Colorado Constitution like Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and Central City do. Nothing against any of those communities, but this does NOT belong in the Constitution. But here we are and that's not changing so at least give these communities the right to control what happens in their own towns. It's ridiculous that they have to ask for statewide permission to bring in higher limits or new games.
YES ON AMENDMENT 77
PROP EE: TAXES ON NICOTINE PRODUCTS First off, I hate smoking. I am an ex-smoker and I hate it. But I am not for this sin tax. I know many, many people who have switched from regular cigarettes to vaping as a step down to quitting. I don't want to make that option less attractive. Also, this is overwhelmingly a tax on the poor, as 3/4 of smokers are in lower socioeconomic levels. It also leads to higher criminal activity surrounding cigarettes. Plus, they say they are going to fund all these programs with this tax, but sin taxes work by discouraging bad behavior and eventually the tax revenues decline. So how do we pay for those programs then?
NO ON PROP EE
PROP 113: ADOPT AGREEMENT TO ELECT PRESIDENT BY NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE This is YOUR CHANCE to tell our Legislature, who so willingly gave up your vote to California and New York in the Presidential election, to go pound sand. The NPV must be stopped. Period. All you have to do to make sure YOUR vote actually counts is vote no. Please, please, please vote no.
NO NO NO NO ON PROP 113
PROP 114: REINTRODUCTION OF GRAY WOLVES This is an expensive and unnecessary program as we already have gray wolves in Colorado again. Plus, this is a nuisance animal to our farmers and ranchers.
NO ON PROP 114
PROP 115: PROHIBIT ABORTIONS AFTER 22 WEEKS This would prohibit late term abortion. Late term abortion is barbaric practice where a viable outside the womb baby is killed and cut up in the womb and removed. There are exceptions if the physical health of the mother is threatened. We should not allow women to abort a baby up until the day of delivery and that is currently the law of the land in Colorado. Even if you are pro-choice, I don't see how you can't vote to ban this horrific practice.
YES ON PROP 115
PROP 116: STATE INCOME TAX RATE REDUCTION You may not realize it, but you got tax increase in the state of Colorado because of the Trump tax cuts. Changes to the SALT deduction means that Colorado was able to keep $400 million MORE of your money. They could have fixed it, but they didn't. This tax cut merely gives you your money back. For me, this is my chance to punish, and yes I said punish, the Legislature for their inaction during the Coronavirus debacle. My friends Greg Brophy and Mike Rosen are against this Prop. Greg says it's because he was in State Government when they had to cut the budget and it's really, really hard. Sure it is. But this Legislature has allowed our Governor to run roughshod over our economy WITH ZERO PUSHBACK so I'm in a mood to make them suffer the way they've allowed Colorado's citizenry to suffer. Let them deal with a budget nightmare as so many business owners have been doing. Petty? Yes. But I'm voting for that reason.
YES ON PROP 116
PROP 117: VOTER APPROVAL FOR CERTAIN NEW STATE ENTERPRISES The Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) is one of the most genius things ever created by a state's citizenry. It forces the Legislature to ask for permission before raising our taxes. This is a necessary fix to a loophole in TABOR that has been exploited by politicians to get around the limits on how they can raise taxes on us. This would require voter approval to any qualified state enterprise that is exempt from TABOR if it raises more than $100 million within the first five fiscal years of it's creation. We can call this the Hospital Fee fix if you'd like.
YES ON PROP 117
PROP 118: PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE INSURANCE PROGRAM This is a disaster already. As projected, it will NOT take in enough money the FIRST YEAR to pay expected claims. The director can raise our taxes by him or herself, it's going to be HUGELY expensive and is a disproportionate burden on poorer people because it's a payroll tax. It also puts a HUGE burden on businesses already rocked by covid. This is a great idea, but a horrible execution. This would be an economic disaster for our state.
NO NO NO ON PROP 118
Just bumping this up with an edit