- March 21, 2017
The Colorado Commission on Taxation has just completed a survey of Colorado citizen attitudes toward the tax system. This is an important survey because it reflects the views
of ordinary citizens rather than that of politicians or special interest groups. It reveals some hostility to taxes and a low trust in the efficiency of government. This skepticism
toward taxes and government efficiency is directly related to the size of government; citizens have more confidence in local government, less confidence in state government,
and least confidence in our federal government.
The question asked in Amendment 23 is a very simple one: should the state raise taxes $11 billion? That is not, of course, how the proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution is presented by the teachers’ unions, but that is in fact what they are asking Colorado citizens to do. Since the teachers unions have obfuscated the issue, it is important to begin by showing how the proposed amendment would create this $11 billion fund which would mostly benefit the teachers’ union.READ MORE
It is difficult to explain the 60 odd tax bills before the Colorado Legislature this year. Every interest group in the state seems to be clamoring for tax refunds, tax cuts, or expenditures of surplus revenue to benefit their interest group. If the legislature responds to these special interests this year, as they did last year, we will end up with more loopholes and more complexity in our tax system. We seem to have forgotten the lessons learned from the tax reforms launched by the Reagan revolution, and it is time for Colorado legislators to return to these basic principles of tax reform. I will discuss first the principles that should guide tax reform in Colorado, and then some of the proposed tax bills.READ MORE
This issue paper examines the disposition of surplus revenue in Colorado. The evidence reveals that special interests now determine the disposition of most of the surplus revenue. The result is less efficient and equitable budgetary decisions than would have been made in the absence of surplus revenue.READ MORE