Amendment 66 fails statewide despite scant approval in Boulder

By Lauren Maslen

Boulder voters eagerly await results at the Hotel Boulderado's Election Night Party on Tuesday, November 5th.

Boulder voters eagerly await results at the Hotel Boulderado’s Election Night Party on Tuesday, November 5th.

While some are saying it never had a chance, others are still confused about the whole thing. What was Amendment 66 and why didn’t it pass in Colorado?

In Boulder County, it was a close call: 50.82 percent in favor to 49.12 percent opposed. Throughout the state, however, the measure failed 66 percent to 34 percent.

An issue of heated debate throughout Colorado, advocates say the proposed tax increases in Amendment 66 weren’t just beneficial for students, teachers, and schools, but necessary for Colorado’s education system.

Meanwhile, opponents to the amendment argued that the tax increase is just that. The money may be needed for certain failing school districts, opponents argued, but the amendment would raise Coloradans’ taxes unnecessarily.

In a city well-known for its educated population and well-off school district, voters celebrating election results at Boulder’s Hotel Boulderado wavered one way or another as well on Tuesday night.

“That’s disappointing,” said Micah Parkin, a Boulder City Council candidate who finished sixth, just one place off from earning a spot on the council. Parkin has two young daughters in the Boulder Valley School District; however, she was more concerned with other issues on election night, particularly the Xcel Energy-backed initiative that would have shut down Boulder’s move to take over the city’s utility franchise.

“I’m just glad about 310,” she said. “I’d rather see that get voted down than myself voted in.”

“What’s Amendment 66?” asked several other party-goers at the Boulderado when questioned about the amendment. This question may have been a reason for many “no” votes, reported the Daily Camera.

A “progressive income tax structure Colorado abandoned in the 1980s” would be used with the Amendment, the Daily Camera reported. Coloradans making $75,000 per year or less would be charged an income tax rate of 5 percent towards the new education amendment while those making over $75,000 per year would be taxed 5.9 percent.

Making national news, Amendment 66 would have raised Colorado taxes by about $1 billion and would cost families approximately $133 per year. The new measures would reportedly have provided full day kindergarten across the state, smaller class sizes, funding for classroom technology, charter schools, and more.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper stands behind the amendment. Amendment 66 provides complete transparency regarding teachers, schools, and the education system, Hickenlooper said.

For a full explanation of Amendment 66 and the 2013 Boulder ballot, check out Under the Flatirons’ 2013 Voters Guide.

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