FACT CHECK: Coloradans for Coloradans political ad tells voters not to vote for Amendment 69

Amendment 69 creates ColoradoCare health system

DENVER -- Amendment 69 would create a statewide health care program paid for mainly through a new tax increase.

Denver7 will fact check ads throughout the 2016 political season.

Coloradans for Coloradans has produced a political ad against Amendment 69.

A YES vote for Amendment 69 creates a universal state healthcare program funded by new taxes, replacing private health care.

A NO vote keeps health care the way it is and does not add a new income tax.

AD SCRIPT:

"Sometimes, you just know a bad idea when you one. Take Amendment 69, for example. It would raise our taxes by $25 billion a year."

DENVER7 ANALYSIS: TRUE

Current state income tax is 4.63 percent. Under Amendment 69 creates a new 10 percent income tax, but not all earners would pay the entire amount.

Employees would pay 3.33 percent, while employers would pay 6.67 percent. Those who are self-employed would pay the entire 10 percent income tax.

Non-wage income would be taxed at 10 percent. According to the Colorado Blue Book, non-wage income includes capital gains, dividends, interest, rental income, non-corporate business income, and retirement income, including Social Security income, reported as taxable income on a taxpayer's federal income tax form.

The Blue Book gets mailed to voters ahead of the election.

Here are examples of how the new 10 percent income tax would impact certain household incomes: (Source: Colorado Blue Book)

  • $25,000 salary - $833 new tax
  • $50,000 salary/$1,000 non-wage - $1,865 new tax
  • $100,000 salary/$5,000 non-wage - $3,830 new tax
  • $250,000 salary/$10,000 non-wage - $9,325 new tax

This new tax would replace the money currently deducted from your paychecks that goes toward health care.

Previous analysis by PolitiFact can be read here.

AD SCRIPT:

"Double the size of state government."

DENVER7 ANALYSIS: NOT EXACTLY TRUE/NEEDS CONTEXT

The $25 billion in new taxes would be nearly double the $27 billion state budget, but the new $25 billion would only be spent on ColoradoCare-related costs and not in areas like transportation or schools.

AD SCRIPT:

"And give Colorado the highest income taxes in the country."

DENVER7 ANALYSIS: TRUE, but not all would pay the highest

For those who would be paying 14.63 percent in income taxes, that would surpass California for the highest in the nation.

Those who earn more than $1 million in California pay 13.30 percent in state income tax. For those who make $51,000 to $263,000, the tax rate in California is 9.3 percent.

In Colorado, for employees who would pay the new 3.33 percent tax, that would add to the current 4.63 percent to increase their state income tax responsibility to 7.96 percent.

That puts Colorado about 10th in the United States, behind New York and just ahead of Maine.

AD SCRIPT:

"All to replace your doctors' decisions with a state program run by politicians."

DENVER7 ANALYSIS: MISLEADING

Your doctors will still be determining your medical care. ColoradoCare creates a 21-person board that will oversee the program and money. A 15-member interim board will be appointed by the legislature and Governor and will help determine how the 21 members will be elected.

The board will determine which providers will do business with ColoradoCare and how much they will be reimbursed.

The board will also have the authority to recommend an election for increased taxes, if the 10 percent rate is not sufficient to keep up with health care costs. It could also decide to lower costs by reducing payments.

*Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated that voters would not be able to vote on possible tax increases

If Amendment 69 passes and does not receive certain federal waivers and exemptions, it would shut down operations, return unused funds and the health care system would revert back to what we have today.

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