In a sign Governor Hickenlooper has all but abandoned any hope at retaining his moderate political brand, yesterday he announced his support for an impending $1 billion tax hike campaign.
Reports The Durango Herald‘s Joe Hanel at the bottom of a piece about Hickenlooper signing the attached SB213:
Hickenlooper pledged Tuesday to campaign for the tax increase once the sponsors pick a single initiative.
This, folks, is big news. In 2011, Hickenlooper steadfastly refused to take a public position on the Prop 103 tax hike ballot initiative, earning the derisive nickname “Chickenlooper.”
Currently tax hike proponents are deciding between raising taxes through increasing the flat tax rate, or creating a graduated system, with higher incomes being taxed at an even higher rate.
The fact that Hickenlooper has already agreed to back the billion dollar tax increase, without even knowing what form it wil take, is a risky move.
A recent poll that purposely over-sampled Democrats found that voters strongly oppose a tax increase, no matter what form it takes.
From our post on the poll:
Magellan polled 675 respondents from April 24-25 and found an overwhelming opposition to income tax hikes, with 55% of respondents opposed to the idea of raising the state income tax from 4.63% to 5.35% to only 36% supportive of the idea.
When asking about a graduated income tax hike, with those making less than $75,000 seeing their taxes go up 1%, while those making over $75,000 would see a 3% hike, the opposition increased slightly with 56% opposed and 35% in support.
We honestly can’t think of a single ballot initiative in Colorado history that started at 36% support to 55% opposition that succeeded in the end.
In a still fragile economy, voters simply aren’t willing to hand over more cash to the government.
With Hickenlooper’s approval rating already underwater with independents, this certainly can’t help his political standing.