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Judge To Rule On Tax Hike Aiding Colorado Schools

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Editor’s Note: In a story Oct. 11 about a proposed statewide tax increase for schools, The Associated Press reported erroneously the additional tax someone would pay with a taxable income of $100,000 a year under Amendment 66. They would actually pay $595 more under the tax proposal’s two-step increase, not an extra $1,270 annually.

A corrected version of the story is below:

DENVER (AP) – In a story Oct. 11 about a proposed statewide tax increase for schools, The Associated Press reported erroneously the additional tax someone would pay with a taxable income of $100,000 a year under Amendment 66. They would actually pay $595 more under the tax proposal’s two-step increase, not an extra $1,270 annually.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Judge to rule on tax hike aiding Colo. schools

Judge to rule Tuesday on challenge to tax hike aiding Colo. schools; measure already on ballot

DENVER (AP) – A judge plans to rule Tuesday on the validity of a ballot question seeking to raise Colorado residents’ income taxes to benefit public schools.

Opponents of Amendment 66 say they’ve identified enough suspect petition signatures to call the measure into question. They made their case during a hearing in Denver District Court on Friday.

The school tax proposal has already been printed on ballots for the Nov. 5 election, but if the tax opponents prevail, votes on the issue won’t be counted.

Supporters delivered more than 160,000 signatures in August to the secretary of state. State elections officials said about 90,000 of those were valid. That’s about 3,700 more than what’s needed to get on the ballot.

The measure would raise about $950 million a year.

If passed, the additional income tax money would be spent on statewide, full-day kindergarten, expanded access to free preschool and other upgrades.

The taxes would also pay for what supporters call the nation’s first tracker software allowing voters to see how their local district spends every dollar, whether on teacher salaries, pensions, classroom instruction, tutoring and other expenses.

To pay for the changes, Colorado’s current flat income tax rate of 4.63 percent would be raised to 5 percent on earnings of up to $75,000 a year and 5.9 percent on earnings above that threshold.

A person with a taxable income of $45,000 would pay an additional $166.50 a year. Someone with a taxable income of $100,000 a year would pay an extra $595 annually.

Opponents say the tax hike is too big and the overhaul doesn’t make the right kinds of changes to improve schools. Some critics wanted to see more money for charter schools, while others complain that it doesn’t contain adequate safeguards that the extra money would be spent only on the changes supporters tout.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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