The Secretary of State's Office just blasted out a press release announcing that state Senator Rollie Heath's $3 Billion tax hike has been approved for the November 2011 ballot. Now that the issue is going to the voters of Colorado the question becomes: shall the voters of Colorado kill 119,700 jobs or not?
An independent study commissioned by the Common Sense Policy Roundtable in April of this year found that were the five-year tax hike to pass, up to 119,700 jobs could be lost in Colorado. The study was conducted by Dr. Eric Fruits of Portland State University and Economic International Corp.
Dr. Fruits conducted a similar study in Oregon before voters there approved a tax hike. After the tax hike passed, the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis found that Dr. Fruits' employment predictions were correct. In fact, employment was actually slightly worse off than Dr. Fruits predicted.
With a successful track record of predicting the detrimental employment impact of tax hikes, Dr. Fruits' study of the potential devastating impacts of Rollie Heath's tax hike is an important part of the conversation surrounding the initiative. Even liberal rag The Huffington Post agrees on that point.
The most recent USA Today quarterly survey of economists found a chance of a double-dip recession at 30 percent — double that of the previous quarterly survey. With continued unemployment over 9% nationally and 8.5% in Colorado, the last thing Colorado voters are in the mood to do are kill more jobs.
Political weather vane, Governor Hickenlooper, has said that he doesn't think Colorado voters have "an appetite" for tax increases right now.
Now that it’s on the ballot though, the pro-Hick press will have to ask the Guv whether that means he is actually for or against Rollie’s job killer.
Rollie’s only response to the job-killing study so far has been to trot out a high school English teacher crying that taxes have zero effect on employment. Rollie himself has asserted that taxes have no effect on attracting new jobs to Colorado.
We're willing to bet Colorado voters see it differently.