June 30, 2020

Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC Board of Directors take positions on four ballot initiatives

Inner dome of Colorado State Capitol

Today, the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC Board of Directors announced positions on four ballot initiatives in the Colorado general election this November.

  • Initiative 271: Graduated Income Tax: oppose

Our stance on Graduated Income Tax: Colorado’s flat tax helps attract high earners and good-paying jobs that have helped our state’s economy thrive. Tax structures are intended to incentive and de-incentivize certain behaviors; therefore, raising income taxes will affect that economic activity. In addition, many small business owners are on the cusp of the $250,000 joint filing threshold, and depending on how profitable they are in a given year, could get hit with a much higher tax bill, providing a disincentive to grow.

  • National Popular Vote: oppose

Last year, the legislature voted on party lines to commit Colorado to the National Popular Vote Compact. Due to a public outcry, the issue will go to the voters for a final decision.

Our stance on the National Popular Vote: The Electoral College ensures that less populous states still have influence over who becomes president, because candidates compete for swing voters in battleground states. Joining the Compact will mean candidates will bypass Colorado when campaigning and ignore the state’s issues and concerns, diminishing our ability to secure our fair share of federal funding and our influence on important federal policy debates. The Compact is being funded by out-of-state interests, particularly a handful of California billionaires, for a simple reason: it benefits large urban centers in California and New York.

  • Initiative 283: Paid family and medical leave: oppose

We will continue our long-standing opposition to this mandated, ill-defined, and expensive approach, consistent with our legislative agenda. The Chamber & EDC has long supported an alternative approach that provides incentives and flexibility to provide employers the options they need to create competitive benefits packages.

  • Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rates: support

The Gallagher amendment places a disproportionate burden on businesses and commercial property owners to pick up the state’s property tax bill. As home values have risen so rapidly in recent decades, the state has had to ratchet down the assessment rate to maintain that ratio. That has hurt communities that rely more on residential property taxes for schools, and forced the state to backfill the cost of public education, reducing funds in the state budget available for other priorities. The Gallagher amendment was passed in 1982 under very different conditions in our state. It’s time to update our property tax structure to reflect current conditions.

“Many businesses and workers are reeling from the effects of a global pandemic,” said Kathy Boe, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC board chair. “As a state, we need to ensure that policies we pass at the ballot box will give our businesses and workers the best shot at getting back to work and recovering, protecting our state’s competitiveness as a great place to make a living.”