As Coloradans consider whether to vote themselves a billion dollar tax increase to fund union broken promises, the Census published updated numbers showing that Coloradans have never paid so much in state and local taxes as they did in the second quarter of 2013. See the chart below.
Of course, if you’re as skeptical of government data as we are, you would say to yourself, “well, maybe the raw numbers are misleading because Colorado has a larger population now, so of course, the state would collect more in income tax.” Your inner voice would be incorrect.
Looking at the second quarter in 2005, Colorado collected $2,320,000,000 in taxes and had a population that year of 4,861,515, which means that $477.21 per person was collected in 2005. In 2012 (the latest population figures available), the state collected $3,061,000,000 in taxes with a population of 5,187,582, which translates to $590.06 in taxes were collected per person that year. So, the trajectory is that each person is paying more in taxes. We knew you’d ask.
So, here’s the question. Given that there should be economies of scale as the population grows, why is the state collecting more in taxes now than ever before when the state is not yet recovered from the recession? And, an even better question is, why are the proponents of Amendment 66 pushing for a billion dollar tax increase when Coloradans already are paying more in state and local taxes than ever before?