Thursday, September 23, 2010

CCA Opposes 60, 61, 101

ARVADA, Colo. September 20, 2010 – Colorado’s beef industry has been delivered to a crossroads due to Colorado’s degrading budgetary situation. For this reason, Colorado Cattlemen's Association (CCA) has taken a position to oppose amendments 60 and 61, as well as proposition 101. The economic impact each of these measures would create will have an outright affect followed by a cascading string of economic impacts on the agriculture industry.

“CCA opposes Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101,” states Robbie LeValley, CCA president, “as they take away local voter decisions about tax issues, severely impact local fire, ambulance and ditch districts, and reduce funding to local school and road and bridge funds which impacts rural Colorado most.”

Amendment 60 requires school districts to cut property taxes by 50 percent. The amendment then claims that the state would have to make up the difference from property taxes being cut by 50 percent.

Amendment 61 eliminates Colorado’s ability to build or expand on any of its capital infrastructure including, but not limited to, roads, schools, and hospitals. This amendment would make it almost impossible for the state and local governments to issue bonds. It would also prohibit the state from using financial instruments such as “revenue anticipation notes”, which the state has used for decades to even out the cash flow throughout the year.

Proposition 101 looks at reducing the state income tax incrementally to 3.5 percent, resulting in eliminating a quarter of the state’s revenue from income tax. The proposition also looks at severely reducing the annual vehicle registration fee, resulting in the Colorado Department of Transportation losing an estimated $277 million in revenue.

Colorado is already facing extremely tough decisions when it comes to balancing the state’s budget. In the past year, agriculture producers have already seen several tax increases on beef producers equating to millions of dollars. As a trickle-down effect, producers are now taking their business to surrounding states where the costs of doing business are lower. Should the above amendments and proposition pass, producers could see higher fees, raids on producer cash funds, and more tax cuts. These two amendments and proposition are not the answer to Colorado’s already strained economy.