My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


A Word On $491 and Fine Print

One of the latest commercials in favor of Referendum C attacks to math of opponents, and claims that the real number of refunds foregone by voters if C passes is $491--"because it says so right in the blue book." Even Channel 9 News tonight, in it's "Fact Sheet" on Referendum C, touted the $491 figure.

The problem is, $491 is a deliberately deceptive number. You have to read the fine print.

And I quote (from the Blue Book itself):

There are currently 16 methods to refund money, as listed in the Referendum C Appendix. One of the methods is the sales tax refund, which almost all taxpayers receive. The sales tax refund accounts for about 42 percent of all TABOR refunds and is distibuted based on income levels. Taxpayers are expected to receive a total of between $350 and $1,021 over the next five years, or an average of $491, in sales tax refunds.

So, yes, it's true that the Blue Book says--and I believe it's accurate--that the average taxpayer would agree to forego $491 in refunds over the next five years. At least, that's the number for the 42%.

So, let's see. . . 491 divided by .42 . . . carry the . . . move the dot . . .

SO THE GRAND TOTAL WOULD ACTUALLY BE $1,169.05 over a five year period, which is almost exactly what the opponents of C have been saying all along.

So, I suppose there are really two questions:

a. is that a reasonable amount you are willing to give to the state over the next five years, and

b. what does it say about the proponents of C and D that they engage in such deliberate obfuscation of the facts?

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