By Chelsea McNerney-Martinez
MONTE VISTA—The Monte Vista Board of Education passed a resolution showing their support for Amendment 73 during the regular monthly meeting, held Sept. 13.
Voters will decide on Amendment 73 this November. According to Superintendent Robert Webb, if passed, Amendment 73, also known as the superintendent’s funding formula and the “Great Schools, Thriving Communities” campaign, would reallocate state funds to raise the per-student amount districts receive.
The per-pupil budget stabilization factor (reduction in state funding for budget savings) for a Monte Vista student is negative $758 per student, but if Amendment 73 passes, they could gain $1,616 more per student for a total of roughly $1.9 million more for the district. Webb explained the purpose of the proposed change is to stabilize and increase funding to benefit districts most at risk and with the highest poverty rates first.
Webb stated only seven districts in the state oppose the amendment, including districts located in Steamboat Springs and Vail. Webb attempted to combat misinformation about the amendment by explaining only eight percent of Coloradoans will see a tax increase, only if their taxable income is over $150,000 per year and there will not be any additional changes to mill levies. Only between two and four percent of Rio Grande County residents will see a tax increase.
Businesses who meet income requirements will see a income tax increase but a property tax savings. The example provided by the school district stated a business with a total income of $300,000 (a taxable income of $253,598) and a business value of $500,000 will pay about $919 more in income taxes but will save between $675 and $1,055 in property taxes. Farmers and ranchers are expected to save considerably under the plan. In the example provided a farmer with an income of $150,000 (a taxable income of $124, 729) and a business value of $300,000 will pay no additional income taxes and save hundreds in property taxes.
According to the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) the amendment “will raise $1.6 billion in additional, sustainable revenue for our schools, bringing them closer to the national average in school funding. The initiative will distribute resources to all school districts throughout Colorado. In addition, it will ensure that decisions about how to spend those new dollars are made at the local level.”
CASB also stated “It also provides sustainable funding by lowering and freezing property tax rates, which are already third lowest in the nation. It’s worth noting that according to the Fiscal Impact Statement created by the Colorado Legislative Council Staff, 92 percent of taxpayers will see no impact on their individual income taxes.” Webb added Rio Grande County farmers and ranchers will see an overall savings and in the instances where individual residential property owners will see a tax increase, it will be an average of $39 per year.
The board unanimously approved a resolution in support of the amendment.