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Colorado Voters to Consider Tax on Gambling to Pay for Water Infrastructure

Colorado voters will have the chance to both legalize gambling and tax the new industry for revenue to contribute some of the money necessary to implement the state's water plan.
November 1, 2019, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Arkansas River in Colorado.
Tim Pleasant

"If Proposition DD passes this November, not only would sports betting become legal, but Colorado could secure a new way to fund 'state water projects and obligations,'" reports Michael Elizabeth Sakas.

"State collections would be would be capped at $29 million a year from a tax on casino sports betting profits. Most of that would go to a cash fund to help implement Colorado’s Water Plan."

Sakas's coverage serves as an explainer of the details included in Proposition DD and the debate that has ensued in the weeks and months approaching the election. Sakas also provides the breakdown of the promised funding under Proposition DD for the 2019-2020 fiscal year:

  • · $3.75 million to facilitate the development of additional storage, artificial recharge into aquifers and dredging existing reservoirs to restore the reservoirs’ full decreed storage capacity.
  • · $1.75 million to provide technical assistance, project, or program funding for agricultural projects.
  • · $1.75 million to implement long-term strategies for conservation, land use and drought planning.
  • · $500,000 for water education, outreach and innovation efforts.
  • · $2.25 million for environmental and recreational projects.

As noted by Sakas, the $29 million cap in annual revenue is not enough to fund the Colorado Water Plan in its entirety. For that, the state would need $100 million a year for the next 30 years.

In a separate article, Denver Post columnist Doug Friednash writes of the opinion that voters should support Proposition DD, writing "DD provides an important down payment on our future," despite the risk in taxing gambling to pay the water bill.

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 in CPR News
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