“The uncertainty of the situation globally and nationally has forced many businesses to close temporarily, layoff and furlough valued employees, and seek out financial assistance to stay afloat. Benefits like paid leave are meaningless if Coloradans don’t have stable employment.” Colorado Chamber of Commerce May 1, 2020
The Denver Post

What is Proposition 118?

It is a $1.3B tax increase that creates a new, government-run department of 197 people who will oversee monies intended for paid family medical leave.

The Cost

  • Proposition 118 is dishonest. To fund the program, proponents designate a “payroll premium” as the source.

  • The premium is actually a payroll tax deducted directly from the paychecks of hardworking Coloradans.

  • A dual-income family making $110k will pay alongside their employers a tax of $1,000 per year… Regardless of whether they use the leave or not!

  • The bottom line, Prop. 118 is a $1.3B tax increase on hard-working employees and businesses of all sizes.

  • This initiative represents an effective income tax increase of roughly 20% for the employee

Is $1.3 Billion Enough to Prevent a Bankrupt Program?

Even though the new entitlement program is funded with more than $1 Billion in new taxes, one independent study found that the benefits are so generous and expansive that the program could go insolvent as soon as the next couple of years – almost certainly requiring another new tax increase to cover the shortfall or worse taking dollars away from other state needs like education and transportation.

The Bureaucracy

  •  The measure creates a massive, new bureaucracy with 200 employees that will be overseen by a political appointee.

  • The head of this new department will have unprecedented power to increase the tax in order to cover excess costs.

The Hypocrisy

Proponents are intellectually dishonest when they claim the state-run benefit is critical for all employees.

The government can choose not to pay this huge tax.

Cities, counties, school districts, towns, special districts, and other local governments are allowed to opt-out because they can’t afford it.

If it’s important for small business employees, it’s important for government employees.

The Plan

The measure promises 12 weeks (and 16 in some cases) of consecutive or non-consecutive leave for eligible employees – employees who have been on the job for only three weeks.

The program requires employers to give employees up to 12 weeks (16 in some cases) of leave in order to accommodate a list of specified circumstances when leave is needed to support family members and people with whom the employee has a special bond.


Colorado is in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and an economic recession that has been compared to the Great Depression. Is now the time to ask families who are just getting back to work to pay a payroll tax out of their wages for an unproven, state-run program that will be bankrupt in a few short years?Vote No on Prop. 118!