1-minute voter guide: Colorado's Proposition FF aims to increase taxes to provide free school meals
Proposition FF would provide all Colorado students free meals at school, no matter their family's income.
- The measure continues a federal pandemic-era program that helped provide free meals to students. That program ended this academic year.
- Under state education department rules, a household of three people, for example, can't earn more than $29,939 a year to qualify for free lunch, or up to $42,606 for reduced lunch.
How it works: The measure increases taxes on higher-income earners by capping the standard tax deduction of $12,000 for a single filer, or $16,000 for joint filers.
- Overall taxes for households with incomes of $300,000 to $499,000 would increase by more than $800 annually.
By the numbers: Providing free meals at schools would cost the state more than $100 million annually, according to the Chalkbeat.
What they're saying: If passed, the measure would help families who make too much money to qualify for free lunch and others struggling to make ends meet.
- The organization behind Prop FF is Healthy School Meals for All Colorado Students, which point out that keeping children fed is critical for their success in the classroom.
The other side: Opponents, including Michael Fields of Advance Colorado Action, believe the money can be used in other ways, including improving teachers' pay in the state. Critics also say higher taxes means families will be able to save more money in the long run, further burdening them.
- It's also a tax hike at a time of economic constraint.
- Gov. Jared Polis told CPR News he may not support it.
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