October 3, 2013
DENVER - A lawsuit challenging the petition-gathering process that got a $950 million school-tax proposal on the November ballot has been filed.
Members of Coloradans for Real Education Reform filed the suit in Denver District Court on Wednesday claiming that nearly 40,000 of the signatures gathered for the ballot measure are invalid.
According to the Denver Post, if the lawsuit succeeds, supporters of the tax measure would not have enough signatures and the measure could be invalidated.
Amendment 66, formally known as Initiative 22, asks voters to increase income taxes nearly $1 billion a year to pay for school improvements including statewide full-day kindergarten.
Opponents say the tax hike is too big and that the schools overhaul doesn't make the right kinds of changes to improve schools.
Here is a partial list of the spending proposed by Senate Bill 213:
- $100 million annually to the Education Innovation Grant Fund
- $80 million annually for distribution as special education funding
- $6 million annually to a statewide program to provide career opportunities for highly effective educators
- $5 million annually for funding programs for gifted or talented students
- $5 million annually to cover costs of a data system for a new financial and human resource reporting system
- $1.3 million annually for distribution to the boards of cooperative services
- $1 million for the costs of the mill levy vote
The Denver Post reported that to pay for the changes, Colorado's current income tax rate of 4.63 percent would be raised to 5 percent on earnings up to $75,000 a year and 5.9 percent for earnings above that threshold.