4

Where Should Prop BB Money Go? Balancing Act Lets You Decide.

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

There's just one statewide measure on the ballot this November: Proposition BB. If passed, it would allow the state to retain and spend $66.1 million in revenue from marijuana collected through the first year of Proposition AA taxes. If it fails, that money will be refunded to taxpayers (it would amount to about $8 for taxpayer, which wouldn't buy you a prerolled joint). But while this disputed windfall is all pot revenue, the reason we're having this vote is not because Colorado collected too much from legalized marijuana. No, it's because healthy state tax revenues in general pushed Colorado past the point where the Taxpayers Bill of Rights kicks in, requiring a vote of the state's residents on whether the government can keep the overage. (Here's a hint: the state's coffers may be healthy now, but there's no guarantee they'll stay that way...and Colorado has plenty of metaphoric potholes to fill.) 

If BB passes, $40 million will be spent on school construction (which people thought they were approving when they passed Amendment 64 three years ago) and $12 million will be spent to fund state programs that will help educate kids in those schools about marijuana, as well as provide for other pot-related services. That leaves $14.1 million that was initially unallocated. Colorado House Bill 15-1367 recently diverted $6.1 of that to the General Fund. That means $8 million is entirely unallocated.

And the Colorado marijuana tax Balancing Act online budget simulator lets Coloradans weigh in on what they’d do with that $8 million in unallocated marijuana tax dollars by creating their own recommended budgets. The simulator is a tool created by Engaged Public, a Denver public policy firm that has created other programs to promote citizen education and engagement on one of the most important tasks of public entities: budgets.

Ready to play? Find the Balancing Act here. Now, if the group could just create a game that would help everyone understand TABOR...

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.