Supporters and opponents of Proposition 117, which will require voters to approve any new state enterprise that is expected to be supported by more than $100 million in revenue from fees over five years, might fall into either the if-it’s-a-fee-it’s-my-choice, or not, division. Fees usually are a result of choices.
Others, critics of increased state revenue collection and spending, some of which in recent years has come from an expanded definition of just what is a fee, are attempting to put a barrier up on fee growth by targeting new initiatives. Even when tied to a service, and choice, they see benefits in less government, giving voters an opportunity to agree.
The target establishes a low bar. Projected revenues of $100 million over five years can be considered to be a modest amount of fee support, given the sizes of other state programs. This proposition, if it passes, would only apply to new state undertakings, not to special districts or county or municipal governments.
The Herald’s editorial board suggest Yes on Proposition 117. Colorado is a leader in involving voters in setting taxation levels. That can apply to new initiatives supported by fees.