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202-380-7114 – MBLyng@NovitasCommunications.com
No on CC Coalition Responds to Wildly Misleading Advertisement by Proposition CC Supporters
DENVER, October 10, 2019 – Today, the No on CC campaign responded to the claims made in the Yes on CC campaign’s new television advertisement by conducting a truth test on each of the four contentions presented:
1) “It helps fix unsafe bridges and helps repair roads in poor conditions”
Misleading. As Speaker K.C. Becker admitted in a committee hearing earlier this year, there is no guarantee as to where Proposition CC’s money will go in the future, but it will start by going to cities, localities, CDOT, and transit – without details of any specific projects. Will the money actually be used for roads and bridges, or will it be used for cushy new offices? Proposition CC fails to specify, but with an existing $32.5 billion budget, fixing our bridges and roads demonstrates a lack of legislative prioritization.
2) “Prop CC helps attract and retain great teachers for our kids and grandkids”
Misleading. Revenues generated from Proposition CC cannot go to base teacher pay. The money must go to non-reoccurring expenses. Its own proponents admit thisto be the case. As such, this claim makes it appear as though teachers will benefit when, in reality, they may not at all. Even worse, the Denver Post claims that the way this would increase funding disparities between well-funded school districts and those with an anemic tax base:
“For example, a third of the funding will go to public schools, which sounds great. But the money does not go through the normal education funding formula. Instead, the money will be doled out to school districts on a per-pupil basis, equally across all districts. That may sound fair, but it isn’t. Other state funding for schools is adjusted according to the financial needs of a district — school districts with large local tax bases and strong local revenue sources get less from the state than districts that might lack commercial or industrial taxpayers or that have depressed housing values.
Creating an ever-growing fund of money that is outside the formula will only increase existing disparities.”
3) “It does not raise taxes”
Misleading. The advertisement claims that Proposition CC will not “raise taxes.” If Proposition CC passes, Colorado taxpayers’ tax liabilities will increase by a projected $1.7 billion over just the next three years. When the government keeps and spends more of our money, it constitutes a tax increase. For further information about this distinction, view CBS4’s Shaun Boyd story here, as well as an in-depth look from The Colorado Sun’s Brian Eason.
4) “Proposition CC requires an independent public audit every year to show where the money goes”
Misleading. If this audit is anything like the audits following Referendum C’s passage in 2005, taxpayers won’t receive any real information. In 2011, Legislative Council economist Katie Watkins testified to the state legislature that: “There is some difficulty in really identifying what revenue from Referendum C went where, and a lot of it has to do with the fungibility of money. Basically, we don’t know exactly where the Referendum C dollars go.”
In many cases, Referendum C dollars substituted, but did not add, to spending in the designated areas. Further, it is unclear if the audit will be truly independent. If the auditor is appointed by the state legislature – namely, by the originators of Proposition CC – is the public to expect objective reporting? Lastly, any audit is a post-mortem, not a present-day enforcer. It will say how the money was spent, not how it will be spent. After it’s spent, it’s too late. And there is no sunset on Proposition CC. The Yes side is making campaign promises it simply cannot keep.
The No on CC coalition is an affiliation of individuals and organizations across Colorado that are committed to protecting and strengthening the greatest gift Colorado voters ever gave themselves and future generations – the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). To learn more, please visit www.VoteNoOnCC.com.
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