Our view: Wrong solution, wrong time

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Editorial Board

Susie Begam-Violette, Community representative

Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative

Gregg Kolbaba, community representative

Skyler Leonard, community representative

Jeff Pleasant, community representative

Bridget Manley, newspaper representative

Our view:

Voters should say no to Proposition 103 because it places a heavy burden on taxpayers and could be put to the wrong uses.

If Proposition 103 passes in November, you, the taxpayer, could see your state income tax increase by up to $100 or more a year.

Make that $315 a year if you’re filing jointly with your spouse and have a taxable income of about $85,000.

That extra money you’d be paying would go to fund education in Colorado. And you’d be paying it for five years.

The editorial board isn’t opposed to generating more money for education, but there are better ways of doing it. Promising economic developments lie on the horizon, which will be explored in Saturday’s editorial.

A tax hike isn’t the way to bolster education funding — especially considering the effect it could have in our ailing economy and how it might be used.

The editorial board isn’t alone in its opposition to Proposition 103. Some local teachers don’t think it’s a good idea, either.

For starters, Proposition 103 could give school districts a blank check to give raises to all teachers, regardless of performance.

Yes, there are many teachers who take their jobs seriously, but there are some who don’t, and they do a lot of damage, both to their students and the profession as a whole.

There’s nothing wrong with giving raises to teachers who deserve it. But, when the teacher who puts in extra work and extra hours gets the same pay increase as the teacher down the hall who’s just punching a timecard, it’s a problem.

Proposition 103 is questionable even if it doesn’t pay for raises.

If the measure passes, Moffat County School District officials could use the money to hire more teachers and bring staffing levels back up to what it was in better years.

All well and good — but that shouldn’t be paid for with the taxpayers’ dime.

Schools aren’t the only organizations suffering; businesses across the country are cutting costs and letting workers go to meet the bottom line. The worker who’s trying to support a family on a reduced wage shouldn’t have to pay more in taxes to make school districts an exception to the rule.

And a tax increase, for any reason, is the last thing this economy needs.

Proposition 103 supporters may argue that the measure will ultimately benefit communities across Colorado. If it allows districts to hire more teachers, that’s more money pouring into the economy.

That may be true, but that’s at the cost of everyone paying higher taxes. Whatever these new employees would spend in Moffat County would probably be negligible to, if not negated by, cash-strapped taxpayers tightening their belts.

Proposition 103 is no silver bullet. Instead, it’s a measure that, if passed, will place another burden on taxpayers’ pocketbooks.

It’s the wrong solution at the wrong time.

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