Referendum C

Posted on November 21, 2010 by

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With the election coming to an end, and many new decisions being seen that need to be made, there are some that we should watch closely. One thing that the new candidates of the 2010 election will be asked to vote on Referendum C act that was passed about five years ago. It is an important thing that will have to be voted on and it will be interesting to see the way they chose to vote.

TABOR (Taxpayers Bill of Rights) was put into put into play to limit the future growth of the government. The main goal of this was to limit the amount of money that Colorado could use a year. This was not to halt the progression of government, but to be able to add some structure to the government and excess money that people can have somewhat of a say of where they think it should go. This was done by requiring increases in overall state government spending to be tied to inflation and population increases. This means that it would be decided by the way the economy is going, either inflated or deflated. This was done by comparing the numbers from the economy from the past year and tracking the spending of the present year. The money was usually given back to taxpayers at tax time, unless there was a vote to say that it was okay for the government to use the money. This led to the creation of Referendum C.

In 2004, when Democrats were in control of the house and the senate, they decided to reduce some restrictions put on government spending due to TABOR. This is what they called Referendum C; it was called the Colorado State Spending Act. This act asked the voters of Colorado to spend the money from TABOR collections on public jobs, education, healthcare and transportation. This bill was only created for five years, and it was created in 2005. Meaning that the new house and senate will vote on if they think they should keep it in effect or if they should abolish it and go back to the way it was before.

There are many arguments for both sides of this discussion. This is going to be a big decision maker on how the money in Colorado will be spent. I believe that this will spark serious debates and disagreements between the Democratic and Republican parties. It is also able to be discussed on how the people personally feel about the issue, that they will have no problem still continuing to pay this tax and have the education programs improved or to not and get more money in their pockets.

This line chart shows Colorado per Capita gross state product. These results show that before and after TABOR, the number of state products was lower than it was after TABOR.

The arguments for the “No” side of this debate will talk about how the money should be given back to the people and that there are other areas that the money can be pulled from to be able to pay the things that the money covers now. The amount that can be returned would be around 3.74 billion dollars. It would be clear that the money could make a difference in the economy if it was spent the right way or put into the right business. It is believed that the economy taxes have all risen since TABOR was passed and that the taxes are not helping the economy.

The argument for the “Yes” is that the Referendum C is a positive thing for the economy. It would be said that it is helping the public out by helping to pay government jobs like police officers and fire fighters. It is not just helping them, but is also letting us have better roads to drive on and better schools for our kids to go to. Thirty nine percent of Colorado’s roads are in poor condition and it would be noted that this is working towards having better roads. It will also be mentioned that Colorado is in the lower percentage of states that have poor support for education levels. It is clear that helping fun education programs is not as easy as it might look. If it is not passed, Colorado will have one of the most strict laws and spending money in the country.

This bar graph shows Colorado per capita personal income growth. It is shown that Colorado was below the US average before TABOR, and then it went higher after.

My personal opinion, I would think that Referendum C is not a bad thing. It is money that is going to be taken out anyway and we usually would only see when they returned it to the people. Otherwise, the money that we are not seeing is going towards a good cause and many people are benefiting from it. As a student, I think that education is a big issue in society today and I have no problem supporting it because it will help students become more than what is expected of them. In the issue of roads, I agree that it will be helpful to fix them now but that is not one of the bigger things that should be being debated highly over.

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