You’ve likely heard about the legislature’s new gas tax proposal, which seeks to raise over $4 billion to “solve” our infrastructure needs. This massive proposal includes new charges at the gas pump, on delivery services like Amazon, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and more. No matter who you are, they have a new charge for you.
We all agree that our roads and bridges need repair, but Coloradans already pay 22 cents per gallon in State taxes, on top of the 18.4 cents we pay in federal taxes. For certain politicians that’s just not enough.
Much of the debate has focused on the questionable legality of the proposal, due to the passage of Proposition 117 just this past November. That requires governments to receive voter approval before enacting these types of new, large “fees.” The unique protections of our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, require the legislature to obtain voter approval before raising taxes. But sponsors won’t let that stop them. Instead, they’re calling these new taxes, “fees,”’ so that Colorado voters won’t have a voice in the process.
While the current proposal probably is not legal, one thing is certain: it will harm Colorado families and businesses desperately trying to recover after the pandemic. With the unemployment rate sitting at 6.4%, nearly half a point above the national average, we should focus on beneficial policies.
Shortly after the proposal was made public, the Colorado Taxpayers Coalition, a coalition of local, state, and national advocacy partners, was formally launched to protect Colorado taxpayers and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by defeating the legislature’s current gas tax proposal. Recent polling demonstrates strong opposition to this proposal to raise the gas tax.
The larger issue is the impact that a tax hike would have on families and businesses, especially low-income Coloradans. That impact will go far beyond the price you pay at the pump, for Amazon goods, and ride-sharing services. It also will raise the cost of goods for even everyday items such as school supplies and groceries, and will do further harm by making it more expensive to commute.
The voters made their voice clear: Colorado families need relief and the current gas tax proposal flies in the face of common sense.
Is the legislature so out of touch that they think now is the time to raise taxes?
Before our legislators raise taxes on families and businesses, they should ask this question: Does this proposal make it easier or harder for families and businesses?
As the economy recovers, we should focus on policies that help families and businesses get back on their feet. Should the legislature choose to move this proposal forward, we also are prepared to defend Colorado taxpayers at the ballot box, having recently announced plans to take a Gas Tax Cut to the ballot in 2022.
To learn more about the legislature’s new gas tax proposal, visit www.NoGasTaxIncrease.com to sign our petition to tell your legislators that Coloradans can’t afford to pay more at the pump.
Patrick McConnell, Coalitions Director, Americans for Prosperity – Colorado https://americansforprosperity.org/americans-for-prosperity-echoes-voters-resistance-to-legislators-unpopular-gas-fee-proposal/