Candy versus college

Not all of Gov. Bill Ritter’s budgetary proposals involve cutting spending. Some would require boosting revenue, usually known as raising taxes.

Candy crunchers and soda slurpers are among those who would be hit with the governor’s tax-hike plan. They would have to pay the state’s 3 percent sales tax on their goodies.

Colorado has long provided an exemption from the sales tax for food items. The thinking is that people shouldn’t have to pay a tax for life’s basic necessities. But Snicker’s bars and Pepsis aren’t necessities. They don’t have much nutritional value, at all. Paying a 3 percent sales tax on them isn’t an unfair burden on this state’s residents.

In addition to candy and sodas, Ritter has proposed to temporarily suspend some business tax credits to raise more revenue — tax credits that help attract businesses and jobs to Colorado. The only saving grace in his plan is that the credits would only be suspended for two years, then be reinstated. We hope the Legislature accepts the governor’s proposal and doesn’t attempt to permanently eliminate the credits.

As Ritter put it, the alternative to raising $132 million by adding candy and sodas to the sales tax rolls and to suspending some of the tax credits is to cut still more from higher education. There’s nothing sweet about that option.


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