Colorado K-12 Tax Hikes Challenged: Economy Squeezes Household Incomes Harder Than School Budgets

IB-2012-D (September 2012)
Author: Ben DeGrow

PDF of full Issue Backgrounder
Scribd version of full Issue Backgrounder

In 2012 at least 26 Colorado school districts are asking local voters to approve various tax increases, including mill levy overrides to fund operating costs, bond issues with local funds or state matching grants to pay for capital construction or renovation projects, and even a sales tax hike. Notably, five of Colorado’s nine largest school districts have placed property tax hikes on the fall 2012 ballot: Jefferson County R-1, Denver Public Schools, Cherry Creek Schools, Aurora Public Schools, and St. Vrain Valley R-1J.

Over the past decade all five of the tax-proposing school districts have significantly grown spending on “current” operating costs. From 2005 to 2010, median household incomes in all five counties covered by the five districts fell short of per-pupil school tax revenues. Asking voters to increase property taxes this year may not be an easy task.

Posted by on Sep 27th, 2012 and filed under Issue Backgrounders, K-12 Funding. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

12 Responses for “Colorado K-12 Tax Hikes Challenged: Economy Squeezes Household Incomes Harder Than School Budgets”

  1. Steve says:

    Adding more insult to more injury, our board asks for more money at the same time denying citizen taxpayers to see the negotiations with the unions. And those unions are the main benefactors of the Board members. Pure political incest. NO, NO, and HELL NO!
    If you negotiate with OUR money, do it in the light of day.

  2. [...] years. Senior education policy analyst Ben DeGrow’s colorful, two-page issue backgrounder “Colorado K-12 Tax Hikes Challenged” shows four of the five largest school districts with mill levy and/or bond issues on the ballot [...]

  3. [...] Policy Analyst Ben DeGrow and the Independence Institute released an Issue Backgrounder on the Denver Metro area school funding increases, including Jefferson County School’s 3A and 3B, a mill levy increase and bond [...]

  4. [...] the news release and see the report. AKPC_IDS += [...]

  5. [...] comparison comes from DeGrow’s 2-page September report “Colorado K-12 Tax Hikes Challenged: Economy Squeezes Household Incomes Harder Than School Bud… built on an analysis of state education and federal census data. The brief publication has been [...]

  6. [...] for me to tell you about the great need for public schools to spend dollars more productively. A recent brief, colorful paper written by my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow makes the point with some great local [...]

  7. [...] Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow came out with a short, fun, and kid-friendly paper called “Colorado K-12 Tax Hikes Challenged.” The paper looked at five large school districts asking voters for more tax funds on this [...]

  8. [...] “bold” request for additional tax revenue from voters (making such a tough request from cash-strapped voters in one sense would have to be [...]

  9. [...] Auge shows that she read my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow’s concise new paper “Colorado K-12 Tax Hikes Challenged” in her story’s third paragraph as she covered the issue in yesterday’s Denver Post: The [...]

  10. [...] last month found that household incomes in the five largest districts proposing tax hikes this year have suffered considerably more than their local school district budgets. For example, in the most recently measured five-year period, Denver Public Schools increased real [...]

  11. [...] to some of the local school tax increases — especially in Jefferson County — have raised the issue of PERA. Jeffco superintendent [...]

  12. [...] and a $99 million construction bond. Voting majorities approved the new local tax revenues despite household incomes being squeezed considerably harder than school budgets. Where are those funds going, and what will be the result for the district’s financial [...]

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