Complete Colorado‘s Peter Blake is out with a major scoop this afternoon, reporting exclusively that tax hike proponents will be attempting to not only raise rates on the ballot this November, but will also attempt to eliminate Colorado’s flat tax in favor of a two-tiered system.
Governor Hickenlooper is on record saying he would support any tax hike that the group brings forward, as opposed to his refusal to take a position on 2011’s failed Prop 103 tax hike ballot initiative.
The proponents of the $1 billion tax hike required to implement the new school finance act will apparently proceed with Proposed Initiative #22, which would entail a two-step increase in the state income tax.
It’s the only one of the 16 pending proposals whose petition format has been approved by the secretary of state’s office, and organizers concede it’s the likely choice. But they haven’t made it public yet.
“We’re still wrestling with a couple of things that need a little bit more time,” said Gail Klapper of Colorado Forum, the coordinating group.
No. 22 — it will be re-numbered for the ballot — would boost the current flat income tax rate of 4.63 percent to 5 percent on incomes under $75,000. The rate on incomes over $75,000 would be go up to 5.9 percent.
Read the whole article here.
The billion dollar tax hike was already doomed to fail, based on a poll by Magellan Strategies that found opposition to the tax increase starting at 55% to only 36% support, even with a poll that purposefully oversampled Democrats.
In that poll, opposition ticked up by 1% to 56% and support dropped 1% to 35% when asked about creating a two-tiered system as proponents appear to be going forward with.
What’s even worse for Team Tax Hike is that business groups, like Colorado Concern, have made clear they will not support a tax hike in a two-tiered system.
With a hopeless future ahead for the tax hike proponents, let’s hope the Colorado Education Association (CEA) and other unions and tax hike supporters plow as much money as they can into this.