On Monday, the official “No on Initiative 22” issue committee, Coloradans for Real Education Reform (CRER), officially kicked off its campaign to advocate for real education reform and against the billion-dollar tax increase.
“This bipartisan effort centers on the fact we recognize the need for real education reform,” said former state Sen. Bob Hagedorn. “One of the best drivers for improving student achievement is providing broad school choice opportunities, something sorely lacking in SB 213.”
Initiative 22 is a ballot initiative proposing a two-tiered tax increase, a tax hike on all levels of income. This increase translates to a 27% state income tax increase on incomes greater than $75,001 annually and an 8% increase on incomes $75,000 or less. Despite the massive tax increase, the initiative lacks the genuine reform that our children deserve.
“This bill is wrong for our children and it harms Colorado’s families,” said Karin Piper, executive director of Parent-Led Reform. “This initiative is unfair because it fails to fulfill the promise we make to our children to provide the best education possible and it unfairly burdens our families as they struggle to recover from this recession.”
Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton emphasized the importance of making and keeping our promises to Colorado’s public employees as well.
“The Colorado Public Employee Retirement Association puts great strains on our school district budgets,” said Stapleton. “Without structural reforms, school districts, with limited budgets may be asked to take even more money from classrooms to fix our broken retirement system. With no safeguards in place to keep this money in the classroom, this is a bad investment for Coloradans.”
“As Colorado families and businesses continue to gradually pull themselves out of the recession, it is more important than ever that tax dollars are spent wisely. The last thing that this slow recovery needs is a massive tax increase that is both ineffective and inefficient in improving Colorado's education system," said Stapleton.
The bipartisan coalition, Coloradans for Real Education Reform, was developed to advocate for substantive reform that leads to measurable gains in student achievement and to oppose the outsized tax increase proposed by Initiative 22.