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2018 Statewide Ballot Measures

Nov 7, 2018

Election Day 2018 has come and gone!  Download our four page, double-sided guide for information and our perspective on each measure that was on the statewide ballot.

Summaries are based on the 2018 State Ballot Information Booklet issued by Colorado Legislative Council (i.e.the Blue Book) and presents our perspectives on the issues.

2018 Ballot Guide

AMENDMENT 73 Funding for Public Schools

YES 45%, NO 55%

  • Increases state funding for P-12 education through changes to income and property taxes: 
    • Establishes income tax rates, ranging from 5.0% to 8.25%, for taxpayers with incomes over $150,000;
    • Raises the corporate income tax rate from 4.63 to 6.0%;
    • Reduces the school district property tax assessment rate for commercial properties from 29% to 24%; and
    • Freezes the residential property tax assessment rate for school districts at 7%. The rate would otherwise fall from 7.2% in 2018 to 6.1% in 2019.
  • Prior to adoption of a new school finance act, increases base per pupil funding as well as funding for students in preschool and kindergarten, special education, gifted and talented programs, and English language learners.
  • Requires the state to periodically review spending of new revenues, how a new school finance formula is implemented, and benchmarks for student achievement. 

Our View: The quality of Colorado’s education system is integral to having a workforce to help nonprofits succeed in their missions. By offering excellent schools in Colorado, nonprofits are more likely to retain employees because the educational needs of their families are met. Education also increases the self-sufficiency of Colorado’s families and can reduce demand for nonprofits’ services. 

Ongoing underinvestment has undermined Colorado’s P-12 education system. 73 provides additional revenues to ensure continuous improvement in our schools. 

Although 73 does increase taxes, the increase would affect higher income households that are currently paying a lower percentage in total state and local taxes than middle and low-income households. Corporations would pay less for their property while investing more in a P-12 system that supports their future workforce.

PROPOSITION 110 Authorize Sales Tax and Bonds for Highway Projects

YES 40%, NO 60%

  • Authorizes the state to issue up to $6 billion in transportation bonds. Limits the maximum repayment amount to $9.4 billion over 20 years.
  • Allocates 45% of revenues to the state, 40% to local governments, and 15% to multimodal transportation projects.
  • Increases the state sales tax rate from 2.9 percent to 3.2 percent over the next twenty years.

Our View: Having a robust transportation system ensures nonprofits can travel throughout the state and receive needed supplies and equipment quickly. It also ensures nonprofit employees can easily commute to and from work. 110 provides additional revenues to fund completion of necessary road, bridge, and public transit projects rather than diverting money from other areas of the budget that support the work of nonprofits and the overall quality of life in our state.  . 

AMENDMENT A  Prohibit Involuntary Servitude in All Circumstances

YES 65%, NO 35%

Removes criminal punishment as an exception to Colorado’s constitutional prohibition of involuntary servitude.

Our View: Removing this outdated language shows Colorado’s commitment to prohibiting forced labor and to the freedom of all people in our state. Amendment A supports the work of many nonprofits throughout our state to protect our civil rights.

AMENDMENTS Y&Z Congressional and Legislative Redistricting

Amendment Y-  YES 71%, NO 29%

Amendment Z- YES 71%, NO 29%

  • Creates independent commissions to modify and finalize congressional and state legislative district maps drawn by nonpartisan legislative staff every ten years.
  • Establishes the criteria and processes used by the commissions to select commissioners, draw maps, and ensure public transparency and judicial review.  
  • Commission membership shall consist of an equal number of Republican, Democratic, and Unaffiliated voters.
  • The state Legislative Redistricting Commission would replace the existing Colorado Reapportionment Commission. 

Our View: We expect this process will result in partisan balance on these commissions and support reasonable application of criteria for drawing districts. By facilitating more equitable and competitive districts, these amendments will help ensure communities served by nonprofits are represented fairly in Congress and the General Assembly. 

AMENDMENT 74 Compensation for Property Values Reduced by Government Laws and Regulations

YES 46%, NO 54%

Requires property owners to be justly compensated by a state or local government when the fair market value of their property is reduced by a government law or regulation.

Our View: Amendment 74 is meant to protect property owners if the value of their mineral rights is reduced by regulations affecting oil and gas development. However, 74 permanently changes the constitution to allow property owners to sue cities for public health, safety, zoning, and environmental regulations. By undermining these regulations, this will likely increase communities’ needs for assistance from nonprofits while reducing available governmental resources. Oregon repealed a similar law after it generated $20 billion in legal claims in only three years.

PROPOSITION 109 Authorize Bonds for Highway Projects

YES 40%, NO 61%

  • Allows Colorado to issue up to $3.5 billion in transportation bonds for named highway projects. Limits repayment to $5.2 billion over 20 years.
  • Prohibits raising taxes or fees to pay for bonds.

Our View: Having a robust transportation system ensures nonprofits can travel throughout the state and receive needed supplies and equipment quickly. It also ensures nonprofit employees can easily commute. While 109 provides needed funding for transportation, it will likely mean reduced funding for P-12 and higher education, human services, and other areas where the General Assembly can cut the budget. More transportation funding should not come at the expense of budget areas that support Colorado’s quality of life and the work of our nonprofit community.