There aren’t many Democrats who talk sensibly about tax policy. It’s always ‘tax the rich,’ bloat entitlement program spending to insane levels, and then attack anyone who tries to tweak this unsustainable model. They’re going to kill the poor. That’s the attack line from the Left—and usually, it works. Taking stuff away from people usually doesn’t play well with voters. Yet, Colorado’ Democratic Gov. Jared Polis spoke about one tax he wants to blast into outer space: the state income tax. There was a statewide initiative that passed to reduce the rate, but he wants it to be lower, like ZERO (via Denver Post):
Gov. Jared Polis said he supports reimagining Colorado’s state tax structure to eliminate income taxes, as nine other states have done.
“It’s obviously easier said than done, but in effect when you tax something you penalize it,” the Democrat said during an appearance Friday at the conservative Steamboat Institute’s Freedom Conference, according to video of his appearance.
Asked by an event moderator what the state’s income tax rate should be, Polis said, “It should be zero. We can find another way to generate the revenue that doesn’t discourage productivity and growth and you absolutely can, and we should.”
“There’s things you actually want to penalize in society, like pollution might be one of them,” Polis said. “I would argue that smoking might be one of them — cigarette taxes, sin taxes, if there’s an applicable cost to people.
Despite the governor’s wishes, there is no indication Colorado will become the 10th state to abolish its income tax anytime soon. As governor, Polis cannot unilaterally lower the income tax rate, so he would need the legislature or a ballot measure to get it done.
That first route is a dead end. Democrats control majorities in the Capitol and throughout the Polis era they have opposed him on income tax policy.
In this area Polis has actually aligned much more closely with Republicans, and he has cheered a successful 2020 ballot measure that reduced the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%. Conservative groups plan to petition to put yet another cut, down to 4.4%, on the 2022 ballot.
Yeah, I agree with about 90 percent of that—I’m not for so-called sin taxes but I can see how it polls well. It’s a rare occurrence to find a Democrat that wants to shred income taxes, so I hope Gov. Polis keeps fighting for this policy initiative.
Sources: TownHall: Wait…A Democratic Governor Actually Said Something Great About Income Taxes