Since releasing our initial thoughts on how the District would invest Amendment 73 funds IF it passes, we have heard both positive and negative feedback.
On the positive side, there has been broad support around the areas in which we envision directing the funding. On the negative side, there has been discord around the percentages of allocation. Such debate is not unusual – small changes in rates can result in the movement of significant funds. In addition to the discussion around the percentages, some have asked for even more specific details.
The challenge with assigning percentages or more specific details is that IF Amendment 73 passes, THEN the District would not see that revenue until the first half of 2020 – two years from now. Our needs today are likely to be different than our needs then.
With all of this in mind, we’ve decided to remove the percentages of allocation, and instead seek community input following the election IF the Amendment passes to determine how to allocate those resources.
Voters should consider the merits of the Amendment on the basis of whether or not they believe it addresses the funding crisis at the state level. It will result in approximately $11.6 million in additional revenue to Eagle County Schools.
Subject to modifications and changes needed to address future Board and District initiatives and goals upon successful passing of Amendment 73, Eagle County Schools would use these funds to:
- Attract and retain high-quality educators and staff
- Reduce class sizes by hiring more educators
- Fund full-day kindergarten for our community
- Fund strategic support positions like social/emotional specialists, reading and math specialists, and custodians.
Our focus is aligned directly with the priority needs identified in our Strategic Plan. By making these strategic allocations, we believe that we will:
- Be more competitive in attracting and keeping quality educators
- Improve the learning experience of students by relieving large class sizes
- Provide our young people with the best possible academic start
- Support our neediest students with targeted assistance
- Properly maintain our facilities to minimize costs that can balloon from neglect
We recognize, with sincere gratitude, that our community recently passed local measures to fund both educational facilities (bonds) and offset state-level cuts in operational funds (mill levy).
Amendment 73 is a NOT another local request, but rather a statewide initiative that seeks to address the root of the problem at the state level through the creation of a bracketed State Income Tax system.
The local mill levy is scheduled to sunset in the 2021-22 school year, and if not renewed by local voters, will result in a reduction of revenue. The sunset was put in place in case a state level solution was found and passed to stabilize funding.
The Amendment increases the tax contributions of those whose earnings exceed $150,000 per year in adjusted income. This approach will NOT impact ninety-two percent of Coloradans. It also raises income taxes on C-Corporations from 4.63% to 6.0%, a 1.37% increase. Importantly, local school boards determine how to invest the revenue.