November 2021 Election

2021 Business Ballot Guide

Fort Collins Area Chamber Takes Positions on Ballot Issues

Even with a global pandemic, things are going quite well in Fort Collins.  The quality of life of our area is the envy of many other communities, and the community has begun to rebound from the pandemic.

In light of growing competition for our community’s jobs, the question is “How do we keep things going our way?” Most of that answer lies with the great businesses and private sector innovators in Fort Collins.

The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce has made it a priority to take positions on ballot measures that it believes will impact quality of life and economic competitiveness. Each of these issues were reviewed by the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance and then by the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Ballots for the 2021 November 2 Election have been mailed to citizens.  We encourage you to dig a bit deeper on the three state-side issues that appear on your ballot.

Amendment 78: Custodial Fund Appropriations Initiative

This amendment requires that all state spending, including custodial funds, be appropriated by the state legislature beginning in fiscal year 2022-2023. Custodial funds include emergency relief funds, federal funding, funds from legal settlements, grants, transportation funding and gifts and donations given to state agencies, colleges and universities. Currently, there are circumstances when state funds can be disbursed directly by a constitutional officer of the government or by a state agency without legislative approval.

We oppose Amendment 78. While we would generally agree that the legislature should control the spending for the state, it is too broad a mandate to require that ALL funds received by the state be subject to legislative appropriation. Broadly applying this ballot remedy to all funding could delay or interrupt state services, including emergency response. A more narrowly focused measure would be more appropriate.


Proposition 119: Creation of Out-of-School Education Program and Marijuana Sales Tax Increase Initiative

This proposition creates the Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress (LEAP) program, a statewide program that provides out-of-classroom learning opportunities to Colorado students ages 5-17. LEAP provides a credit of up to $1,500 per student each year for out-of-school learning, with priority given to kids from low-income households. Families choose from a menu of local providers in areas like tutoring in reading, math, science and writing; extra services for special needs students; and career and technical education-training programs. The program will be funded via an increase in state sales tax on retail marijuana from 15% to 18% in 2022, from 18% to 19% in 2023, and from 19% to 20% in 2024.

We are neutral on Proposition 119. Your Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce is very concerned about educational systems and the creation of future workforce, but had too many questions regarding this ballot issue and the ultimate execution of the concept to make a recommendation.


Proposition 120: Reduce Property Tax Rates and Retain $25 Million in TABOR Surplus Revenue Initiative

This proposition reduces the residential property tax assessment rate from 7.15% to 6.5% and reduces the non-residential property tax assessment rate from 29% to 26.4%. While property taxes are not collected by the state, the measure allows the state to retain and spend up to $25 million per year above the TABOR limit to reimburse local governments for revenue they will lose from this reduction for five years. Proposition 120 seems relatively straightforward on the November ballot, but the new state law and a potential lawsuit have significantly complicated the measure – resulting in a conflict between the ballot language and the ultimate impact of successful passage of this issue.

We oppose Proposition 120 because of the conflict between the ballot language and the Colorado non-partisan Blue Book analysis. As a Chamber, we are strong advocates for housing for all income levels in our community and property taxes are a key part of housing solutions, but the conflict between the ballot language and the ultimate impact to Colorado is just too large.


Please note: The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to provide education, information and analysis of local issues and candidates specifically for its members. The opinions expressed in this website are meant to give Chamber members a perspective that advocates for the business community and the city’s overall quality of life, and to give members insight into the potential impacts of local issues and candidates.



Colorado Blue Book

Common Sense Institute Analysis on  Prop 119 and  Prop 120

Common Sense Institute  Ballot Guide.


Colorado Amendment 78

Colorado Proposition 119

Colorado Proposition 120