Gambling taxes are as voluntary as any tax could possibly be. The idea of allowing people to voluntarily pay taxes for school children sounds so good to so many that amendment 68 might actually have a chance of passing. Supporters are advertising that no one else will have to pay any taxes. The ads say there will be more than $100million absolutely guaranteed to go to kindergarten through high school education. That is true as the amendment is written: if the casino is successful enough to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in gambling dollars, the promised funds will exist.
But the question is, have “promised” funds from any specified government tax ever actually increased the amount of money available for the target program? How are those big casinos working out for schools in Atlantic City and the rest of New Jersey? As they go out of business – one after the other – and leave the city and state to deal with useless buildings and lost revenue, taxpayers suffer.
Here in Colorado slick state money changers like Andrew Romanoff will use convoluted logic and create new definitions of words to take away money currently going to schools and replace it with the wishful revenue from the new casino under Amendment 68. Most schools will not have one dime more to spend than they have now and many public schools such as community colleges will actually lose support. Don’t overlook the fact that the law only allows the new money to be spent on k-12 schools and community colleges are excluded.
History, when not censored by the common core curriculum version, is a great teacher and has shown us time and time again, there will be no “increase” in school funding, only another government deceit to move dollars from one hand to another. There must be a reason not one single board of education in all of Colorado has spoken out in favor of this scheme.
But there are more questions. If one racetrack casino is so good for schools, why not allow several? Why does this state constitutional amendment create a monopoly – not allowing any competition in this new market for years? What happened to competition in a free market? If the current casinos see this new racetrack / casino business plan is a better idea, why are they not allowed to compete?
Then there is the question of local control. Why do the supporters of amendment 68 want the state to have authority to force casinos into local communities which may not want them? Is it easier to influence a few state officials rather than thousands of voters at the local level?
Once again looking at the bane of politicians, history. In 1992 Colorado voters demanded “no new taxes” without voter approval. The idea of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) was to limit the state government growth with a Constitutional Amendment. Yet sleazy legislators led by the likes of Democrat Romanoff and Never-veto Hickenlooper invented “fees” for everything. The TABOR amendment was quickly replaced by the Democrats Allowed to Manipulate Nonsense (DAMN) doctrine under which every new tax is now labeled as a fee or toll or other DAMN term activists judges “legislate” against the people’s orders.
Aurora residents are already facing new taxes for necessary infastructure improvements. But the supporters of amendment 68 are still advertising that no one will pay any new taxes except the casino operators.
If the people of the Aurora area want a casino and hope it will create jobs and local taxes, they should be able to make that decision. But a state-wide ballot issue, and especially a constitutional amendment, is not necessary unless there is something else motivating this issue. Is it possible that while backers of Amendment 68 are working their slight-of-hand on Colorado taxpayers, state politicians are absolutely drooling over the dollars they see being freed up from school budgets to grow government elsewhere?