2010 Colorado elections: Proposition 101, Amendment 60 and Amendment 61

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From the Boulder Daily Camera (Heath Urie):

Combined, the effects of Amendments 60 and 61, along with Proposition 101, could mean the need for between $26 million and $54 million in cuts to Boulder’s budget within the next four years. Brautigam is working on creating a detailed plan for exactly where those cuts would come from, but in general, they would likely mean reduced hours of city services and more layoffs.

Amendment 60 would amend the state constitution to impose restrictions on the collection of property taxes, require government entities to pay property taxes and make other tax-related changes. Boulder’s finance office believes that, if the measure is approved, the city budget could be hit with an additional $7.6 million to $32.2 million deficit. To make up the difference, the city could be forced to increase water rates by up to 104 percent, according to city estimates.

Amendment 61 would change the way that Colorado governments are allowed to take on debt. State borrowing would be prohibited, and local governments would require voter approval to borrow any money. Boulder’s finance officials estimate that measure could have the biggest impact on the city’s open-space fund. Based on current projections, the fund would face a reduction of about $2.5 million in 2012 when several large leases pay off. Open space would probably have to take on additional cuts over six years, ranging from $1 million to $1.7 million a year. Because Amendment 61 would limit debt repayment to 10 years, the city would need to pay about $445,000 more per year, per $10 million worth of debt, officials estimate.

Proposition 101 is a statutory change that would reduce vehicle taxes and fees, telecommunication service taxes and the state income tax. Boulder officials estimate that measure would reduce the city’s annual budget by $6.2 million in 2011 and $7.9 million by 2014.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

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