School tax hike petitions submitted Monday; Supporters want $950M to overhaul education in Colorado

DENVER - Supporters of a $950M plan to overhaul Colorado's schools were submitted Monday to put the tax hike on the November ballot.

The groups say they have more than enough signatures to put the question to voters.

The income tax hike would be spent on statewide full-day kindergarten, expanded access to free preschool and other upgrades.

Opponents say the tax hike is too big and that the schools overhaul doesn't make the right kinds of changes to improve schools. The opposition campaign also launched Monday.

Here is a partial list of the spending proposed by Senate Bill 213:

- $100 million annually to the Education Innovation Grant Fund

- $80 million annually for distribution as special education funding

- $6 million annually to a statewide program to provide career opportunities for highly effective educators

- $5 million annually for funding programs for gifted or talented students

- $5 million annually to cover costs of a data system for a new financial and human resource reporting system

- $1.3 million annually for distribution to the boards of cooperative services

- $1 million for the costs of the mill levy vote

The Denver Post reported that the measure will repeal a section of Amendment 23 that requires funding for public education to increase by the annual rate of inflation and instead adopts a provision that sets aside a minimum of 43 percent of the state's tax revenue for K-12 schools.

The newspaper also reported that to pay for the changes, Colorado's current income tax rate of 4.63 percent would be raised to 5 percent on earnings up to than $75,000 a year and 5.9 percent for earnings above that threshold.

Read more about the tax increase in the Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23536915/ballot-will-have-two-tiered-tax-increase-fund

Read Senate Bill 213: http://tinyurl.com/k9ba73c

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