Friday, August 20, 2010

Colorado's Amendment 61: The Simple Facts

Several stories have hit the news recently about Amendment 61, which Coloradoans will vote on this November. Here's what you need to know:

  • The property taxes that Colorado school districts rely upon for their funding usually start coming in during March.
  • When Colorado school districts used to budget around a calendar year (Jan-Dec), they didn't have long to wait (~3 months) for property tax funds to arrive.
  • When Colorado school districts switched to fiscal years (Jul-Jun), they had to wait much longer (~9 months) for property tax funds. Since districts don't have an extra 6 months of cash lying around, the state has provided interest-free loans to school districts to bridge the gap.
  • A provision of Amendment 61, if passed, prohibits the state from making these loans to school districts, and many districts aren't sure what they will do (or, better put, not do) without that money.
I don't think I need to tell you how to vote, but this does sound like an Amendment worth studying carefully. Ed News Colorado has the best coverage I've seen yet, including links to sites for and against Amendment 61.