Below is a tracking sheet for selected 2017 ballot initiatives that might be of interest to firm clients. These proposals have been filed and either are certified or are going through the ballot approval process. Late last week, FixItCO, a group backed by the Colorado Contractors Association, announced that they will not be seeking a ballot initiative in 2017 for transportation funding. The group had previously submitted six proposed statutory initiatives that would have increased the state sales tax rate between 0.5% and 1.0% and generated $3.5 billion for transportation projects. However, there are two other statutory transportation proposals (#21 & #22) from the Independence Institute which seek approval to bond for transportation projects but do not provide a new revenue source for repayment, meaning that payments would come from existing funding sources and programs.

The other proposed ballot initiatives for 2017 included below range from a limit on housing growth (#4) to an increase on severance tax for oil and gas (#20). The cost of getting an initiative certified, placed on the ballot, and approved by voters is very expensive and time consuming. With last year’s passage of Amendment 71, “Raise the Bar,” making it harder for constitutional amendments to gather signatures, the only proposed constitutional initiative #4 on housing growth limits faces even higher hurdles to getting on the ballot, making ultimate passage much harder.

Issue Area: Government
Number: 11 Title: Candidate Disclosure of Tax Returns — Statutory
Proponents: Jason Legg & Scott Cadiz (Strengthening Democracy Colorado)
Requires a candidate for certain offices to file, at a minimum, copies of their five most recent federal income tax returns and to provide written consent for the public disclosure of the returns. Failure to file will result in disqualification of the candidate. Petition Due: 10/13/2017 Petition format approved: 5/1/2017 Original filed: 3/24/2017
Status: Approved for Circulation
Issue Area: Transportation
Number: 22 Title: Initiated Statute to Authorize Bonding for Transportation without Raising Taxes to Fix Our Damn Roads-Statutory
Proponents: Independence Institute
Requires the executive director of CDOT to issue Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) no later than July 1, 2018, in a maximum amount of $3.5 billion with a maximum repayment cost of $5.2 billion over 20 years. Petition Due: 8/7/2017 Petition format approved: 5/31/2017 Original filed: 4/7/2017
Status: Approved for Circulation
Issue Area: Transportation
Number: 21 Title: Initiated Statute to Authorize Bonding for Transportation without Raising Taxes to Fix Our Damn Roads-Statutory
Proponents: Independence Institute
Requires the executive director of CDOT to issue Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) no later than July 1, 2018, in a maximum amount of $3.5 billion with a maximum repayment cost of $4.0 billion over 20 years. Title Board Hearing: 4/28/2017 Title Approved: 4/19/2017 Original filed: 4/7/2017
Status: Title Set; Awaiting approval for circulation
Issue Area: Housing
Number: 4 Title: Limit on Local Housing Growth-Constitutional
Proponents: Co-operate Colorado
Seeks to limit housing growth by 1% in 2019 and 2020 in 10 front grange counties. Would also allow a county to limit residential housing growth uniformly throughout the county, including in home rule cities within the county, so that the number of dwelling units does not increase by more than 1% annually. Title Board Hearing: 1/4/2017 Title approved: 12/21/2016 Original filed: 11/23/2016
Status: Pending Supreme Court Action 17SA6
Issue Area: Severance Tax
Number: 20 Title: Severance Tax — Statutory
Proponents: Andrew O'Connor & Mary Henry 1220 W Devonshire Ct Lafayette, CO
Beginning in 2017, the measure increases the oil and gas severance tax by 5 percentage points. Beginning in 2018, the measure eliminates the property tax credit and halves the stripper well exemption. The additional tax revenue from the severance tax increase is exempt from the spending limits in the state constitution. Title Denied: 4/28/2017 Title Board Hearing: 4/28/2017 Original Text Filed with Board: 4/7/2017
Status: Pending Supreme Court Action 17SA85