Income tax

Colorado income tax changes are displayed more prominently

The GG proposition is a vote measure on vote measures.

It represents Colorado’s latest battleground over the Taxpayer Bill of Rights as Democrats seek to circumvent the 1992 Constitutional Amendment, known as TABOR, and Republicans fight to prevent any change. The initiative, if passed, would require the state to more prominently display detailed information about how citizen-initiated ballot measures changing the income tax rate would affect Coloradoans.

The GG proposal was returned to the ballot by Democrats in the Colorado Legislature this year by passing Senate Bill 222a measure that Republicans universally opposed

Here’s what you need to know about Proposition GG:

What would that do

When an initiative to change Colorado’s income tax rate passes statewide, a chart outlining how the change would affect people at different income levels is shared in the information booklet on the state poll – also known as the blue book – which is sent to each voter.

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The table includes the average income tax owed by people at different income levels, as well as how much their taxes would rise or fall if the rate were changed.

Proposition 121 on the November ballot is a prime example. That would raise Colorado’s tax rate from 4.55% to 4.4%, and on page 24 of your blue book this year you can see a chart explaining how that would affect people at different income levels.

The GG proposal would require the table — with some slight modifications — to also be included in petitions used to collect signatures for income tax changes on the ballot, as well as ballots.

The slight changes include only the specification of eight categories of income tax and more specific information on how the income tax changes would affect individual taxpayers.

To note: The GG proposal only applies to citizen-initiated ballot measures. If the legislator returned to the vote a measure modifying the rate of income tax, this would not apply.

The arguments for

Proponents of the GG proposal say it is a tax transparency measure to ensure Coloradans have a full picture of how changes to the state income tax rate would affect them. .

Some people don’t open the blue book, say people who support the measure, so the GG proposal is a way to ensure they can’t miss information about potential income tax changes of State.

“Honestly, I think it’s pretty simple,” said State Rep. Chris Kennedy, a Lakewood Democrat and lead sponsor of Senate Bill 222. “It’s about giving voters more information about how the income tax changes affect them personally.”

Kennedy said the current information on the ballot is not enough.

The arguments against

Conservatives argue that the GG proposal is unnecessary because detailed information on how income tax rate changes would affect Coloradans is already in the blue book. Adding more information to the ballot would also increase printing costs.

“I hear a lot of people say that our voting language is already way too long and way too complicated,” said Michael Fields, a Conservative fiscal policy campaigner. “This legislature should spend more time on increasing public safety and lowering the cost of living – and less on meddling in the citizens’ initiative process.”

Jesse Mallory, who heads the Colorado branch of Americans For Prosperity, an organization that staunchly defends TABOR, said “nothing screams ‘our friends have a tax hike coming’ quite like (this bill). “

One big thing you need to know

Since the GG proposal asks voters to approve a legislative change, state lawmakers could have tried to make the changes themselves by passing a bill and asking the governor to sign it into law.

But Democratic supporters of the policy had a major obstacle in Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who was wary of change and appeared ready to veto any legislation to change the language of the ballot.

“Governor. Polis believes that voters should decide how issues are presented on the people’s ballot because it is their ballot, not the ballot of the state legislature,” a Kara Powell, spokeswoman for the governor, told the Colorado Sun earlier this year. “This includes whether or not to approve of requiring a table in the tax summary for any ballot initiative that would raise or lower the tax rate. ‘taxation.”

That’s why lawmakers bypassed the governor and returned the GG proposal to the November ballot through Senate Bill 222. (Governor’s signature is not required on bills returning questions to the ballot.)

One more thing you need to know: The GG proposal comes as Colorado Democrats try to find ways to work on tax policy within the confines of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

The GG proposal is an extension of legislation passed by Democratic lawmakers in 2021 requiring the ballot to measure tax cuts include an explanation how much revenue would be reduced and which programs would be most affected. The 2021 bill also now requires ballot initiatives raising taxes to explain how the new revenue would be spent.

In fact, the 2021 bill is why there’s a chart in the blue book explaining how people in different income brackets would be affected by tax rate changes.

EARLIER: Democrats avoid Jared Polis in bid to ensure Coloradans get full picture of income tax changes

Players and Money

Coloradans for Ballot Transparency is the thematic committee supporting the GG Proposal.

Denverite Merle Chambers, a longtime Democratic donor and former oil and gas executive, donated $100,000 to the group in May.

The committee raised $600,000 in August, $500,000 of which came from the national Democratic nonprofit Sixteen Thirty Fund. The Sun refers to the nonprofit as a black money group because it is a political group that does not have to disclose its donors.

The Rose Community Foundation donated $50,000 to the committee on September 12. And the National Education Association gave Coloradans for Ballot Transparency $250,000 on September 21.

Coloradans for Ballot Transparency spent $400,000 in mid-September to advertise the ballot measure.

So far, no organized opposition to the measure has emerged.

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