Leg Council Revenue ImpactHas the sting from Tax Day worn off yet?  Yes?  Good thing we’re here to rip the scab off.  If you thought a billion dollar tax increase for Amendment 66 in 2013 was bad, brace yourself for Democrats’ latest tax increase ballot initiative. It’s a $25 billion tax increase for a state-run health care system. Yes, that’s billion with a “B”.

Martha Tierney, Common Cause lawyer and Mark Grueskin associate, delivered a whopper at yesterday’s title board hearing.  According to Initiative 20, “Coloradans need the security of knowing that they can afford health care for themselves and their families and businesses need relief from the unsustainable financial and administrative burdens of providing health insurance for their employees.”  So far, sounds good, right?

But, then, comes the proposed solution to this problem: “Colorado will finance health care through ColoradoCare, a political subdivision of the state governed by a twenty-one member board of trustees that will administer a coordinated payment system for health care services and control the per capita cost of health care….”

[Record screeches]

The solution to an over-regulated, bureaucratically-bloated industry is not an even larger state-sponsored bureaucratic organization. Talk about coming to the exact wrong conclusion. Perhaps Common Cause and Ms. Tierney have missed the terrible news coming out of Connect for Health Colorado – mismanagement of contracts, cronyism, cost overruns, and more.  Or maybe they didn’t miss it, and are hoping to get ridiculously rich off the fat these programs deliver to Democratic firms.  Either way, the solution to the disastrous Colorado health exchange is not a Colorado health exchange on steroids.

And, here’s where the $25 billion comes into play.  According to the Colorado Legislative Council staff, this brilliant money making scheme for Democrats terrible idea will cost a mere $25 billion. To put this in perspective, in 2012, Colorado collected a comparatively paltry $10.3 billion in taxes.  With a current tax rate at 4.63%, Colorado would have to raise taxes to well over 10% (the initiative claims 10% even) in order to even begin paying for this, putting Colorado at the highest state income tax in the nation.

Here’s how Leg Council says the initiative proposes paying for this boondoggle:

“To fund the provider, the initiative proposes a premium tax on most sources of income, including:

  • wages, salaries, and tips
  • dividends, interest, and rent
  • business proprietors’ income, including farm proprietors’ income
  • capitol gains
  • pensions, annuities and social security benefits, to the extent taxed by the state under current law
  • the $10 your grandmother sends you in a card with Strawberry Shortcake on the front for your birthday each year”

Fine, we made up the last one, but this is literally taxation on almost every penny that one earns. Finally, the Democrats’ have revealed what their true agenda is – not levy a “fair share” tax, but take all of your money that you earn.  We’d advise gathering pitchforks, but this idea is so crazy that we are having a tough time taking it seriously.

Say what you want about TABOR, but asking taxpayers’ permission to raise taxes is looking pretty darn good in the face of this proposed tax hike.