A host of proposed ballot measures for 2020 and proposals at the state Capitol are putting Colorado’s uneven tax system in the spotlight
The Colorado tax code, it pays to be rich and it’s expensive to be poor.
For decades now, that’s been the stark takeaway buried inside the 286-page report on Colorado’s tax system the state Department of Revenue releases every two years: The less you make, the more you spend on taxes, as a percentage of your income.
But despite growing public frustration over income inequality and the state’s rising cost of living, the tax disparities apparent in Colorado’s law have drawn little political attention.
That is, until now. After years of defeats at the ballot box, progressive advocates believe they’ve landed on a tax plan that can resonate with Colorado voters: making the rich pick up more of the bill.
The Colorado Fiscal Institute in December introduced 35 possible ballot proposals that would advance the idea and ask voters to re-establish a graduated income tax in the state for the first time in more than 30 years. Structured like the federal income tax, graduated or progressive state tax brackets would levy higher tax rates based on how much money residents make.