Proposition DD garners support from state legislators

State Capitol May 12, 2018 via Aspen Journalism

Here’s a guest column that’s running in the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Proposition DD isn’t a tax increase on citizens or most businesses. DD requires that casinos pay a tax on the profits from sports betting in a similar way they pay taxes on other casino earnings. It allows Colorado Mountain Casinos to offer sports betting, which is something they aren’t able to participate in.

In 1992, Congress gave Las Vegas a monopoly on sports betting, through an ill-conceived measure in an omnibus package. Thankfully, the Supreme Court overturned this ridiculous law, last year, in the case of Murphy v. The National Collegiate Athletic Association. Justice Alito wrote in the majority opinion that the regulation of sports betting should be left to the states. Our response to this opportunity: Proposition DD.

Proposition DD authorizes operating mountain casinos to offer sports betting, so Las Vegas doesn’t maintain their monopoly. It also allows for a small tax on these same casinos’ profits. The revenue from this tax goes to regulation costs, gambling addiction services, and the Colorado Water Plan.

While Colorado’s population continues to explode, competition for water is reaching a fevered pitch. It’s time for Colorado to take action to preserve the future of our water. Proposition DD will address water infrastructure needs.

Proposition DD would provide an estimated $29 million in funding to expand reservoirs, invest in water quality, manage watersheds decimated by wildfires, and protect access to flowing rivers and streams for fishermen and rafters. Conservatives and citizens who recognize the importance of water to the future of our great state — should vote yes.

DD will provide the funding necessary to protect Colorado’s water. It addresses core challenges like the need for water infrastructure with targeted approaches that do not increase taxes on the general public. By doing this, we keep the pressure for new taxes off the taxpayers in our great state.

Colorado must seek ways to address infrastructure needs without resorting to major tax hikes or the weakening of your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. There is zero need to resort to these measures to fix Colorado’s infrastructure needs. That is why Proposition DD is a reasonable proposal that engages our needs while maintaining low taxes.

Sports betting would be a new enterprise for Colorado, but Proposition DD would limit this enterprise to existing casinos and gambling establishments. It is a modest approach to the gambling industry, while still being viable enough to address our state’s obligations. If the voters approve Proposition DD in November, it is a win for agriculture, a win for the environment, and a win for all Coloradoans.

That’s why, as conservative Republicans, we are proud to join the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Farm Bureau, the Colorado Dairy Farmers, the Colorado River Water Conservation District, the Colorado Water Trust, Club 20, Action 22, the Grand Junction, Rangeley, and Denver Chambers, and dozens of key water leaders in rural, urban and suburban Colorado in supporting Proposition DD.

The following Colorado legislators contributed to this column: Senate: John Cooke, Owen Hill, Rob Woodward, Don Coram. House: Patrick Neville, Mark Catlin, Matt Soper, Janice Rich, Dave Williams, Kevin Van Winkle, Rod Pelton, Shane Sandridge, Colin Larson.

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