High Court decision could send internet sales taxes to Durango
New revenue would help, but not solve, city’s long-term budget deficit
The city of Durango could see some additional tax revenue thanks to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on internet sales, but not enough to solve a projected municipal budget shortfall.
The Supreme Court recently ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair that states and local governments can require remote retailers with no physical presence in a state to pay sales taxes.
“The Supreme Court has recognized that our tax system has changed, our economy has changed and we need to modernize,” said Ali Mickelson, director of legislative and tax policy with the Colorado Fiscal Institute, a nonpartisan organization.
The new sales tax revenues could bring in an additional $168 million to $262 million to the state of Colorado and local governments, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report.
But there are unanswered questions associated with the decision, including when new revenue will start to flow and how much local governments might receive.
“I don’t know that any experts are certain about what’s gong to happen,” Mickelson said.
Ongoing litigation against the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing, among others, over a 2009 program that raised taxes via a “hospital provider fee,” has new energy after Cause of Action Institute announced earlier this month it would take on the representation of the plaintiffs in the case.
Cause of Action is a Washington D.C.-based 501(c)(3) organization that according to its website advocates for “economic freedom and individual opportunity advanced by honest, accountable, and limited government.”
Plaintiffs, who were originally represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, had 60 days to find new counsel after Mountain States withdrew for reasons not related to the case or the plaintiffs. Continue reading
Backers of a measure to raise taxes for education submit petition signatures
DENVER, July 11, 2018 — The backers of a proposed constitutional amendment that boosts income taxes to raise money for education today turned in signatures to the Secretary of State’s office.
The signatures for Initiative 93, as it is now called, are the first to be turned in this election season in an effort to get a measure on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. It is also the first initiative where supporters had to collect signatures in all 35 state Senate districts as required by the 2016 ballot measure “Raise the Bar.”
Initiative 93 involves a complex formula for raising income taxes among the state’s top earners.
Colorado allows citizens to put issues on the ballot after going through a process that includes reviews by staffers with the Secretary of State, the attorney general and Legislative Legal Services. These reviews do not determine the merit of the proposal, only if it meets state standards to attempt to get on the ballot. Continue reading