Lack of support torpedoes income tax measure

The Denver-based group that wanted to change the way income taxes are paid in Colorado to generate another $1 billion in tax revenue withdrew a proposed ballot measure Monday to do that.

The Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute had hoped to put a measure on this fall’s ballot to create a graduated income tax similar to one used by the Internal Revenue Service.

Under it, the more Coloradans make, the higher the percentage of income would go to taxes.

But Carol Hedges, institute director who proposed the measure, said she couldn’t get enough support behind it.

“As much as we believe Colorado needs swift action to address its fiscal challenges and stop the cycle of damaging cuts to our public services, these measures were not able to gather the broad support needed,” Hedges said. “Experts from across the political spectrum understand our state’s fiscal mess is not temporary or just a result of an economic downturn. It’s structural, and we need to make fundamental shifts in how we fund public services.”

The group had filed six proposed ballot measures, each with the same underlying theme, in hopes of qualifying at least one for the fall ballot.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, is still going ahead with a similar measure to increase taxes to raise about $1.5 billion for public schools and higher education.

At the same time, the free market think tank, Independence Institute, is proposing a ballot question to lower the state’s income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.5 percent.


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