GJ Lions host Colorado Amendment 66 debate

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. It's one of the hottest topics facing Colorado voters this election.

Amendment 66: the school funding issue.

Tuesday, the Grand Junction lions club hosted a debate to know more about the issue.

Proponents of Amendment 66 say it would raise taxes by about $1 billion dollars to provide preschool through 12th grade funding and reach other goals.

The idea is to revamp the education system and bring "per-pupil funding" up to par with other states...

Opponents argue the tax increase would be too large, and there's a disagreement about where the money would actually end up.

"We need the types of reforms that assure that educations outcomes are going to get better," said Kelly Maher of ColoradoCompass.org. "We need to pay good teachers really well. We need to make sure the money actually makes it down to the classroom. Amendment 66 doesn't give us assurance on that."

"We can't, nor would we want to write into the Constitution how Dove Creek, or Bayfield or Maybell or Grand Junction has to spend their money," said Reeves Brown, of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. "We want to leave that power in the hands of local communities and local school districts. There is not that level of specificity as to where each dollar as to go, though it does have to be spent in the classroom."

The amendment asks for a two-step income tax rate increase.
Taxable income up to $75,000 would see an increase from 4.63% to 5%.
Income above $75,000 would be taxed at a rate of 5.9%.
Every taxpayer would pay a 5% rate on their first $75,000 worth of income.

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