Opening the door to future tax hikes
Even if you believe our state's education system needs more tax dollars, Amendment 66? the billion-dollar income-tax hike on November's statewide ballot? would be catastrophic for Colorado's economy. In a recent study, the University of Colorado's Leeds School Of Business found that Amendment 66 would kill private-sector jobs and reduce personal income by almost $2,000.
Amendment 66 also would make two major changes to the way Colorado raises tax revenue? - setting up our state's job and wealth creators for future government money grabs that would end up costing all of us dearly.
For one thing, it would repeal our state's long-standing, fair and principled policy of maintaining a single flat tax rate for all citizens. The ballot measure would replace this approach with a two-tiered system that ignores fairness?, instead taxing Coloradans with incomes up to $75,000 at one rate and those with incomes over $75,000 at a higher rate. Meanwhile, Amendment 66 would scrap a safeguard in the state constitution that ensures the corporate tax rate is the same as the personal tax rate.
The effect of these radical changes to Colorado's tax policy would be to open the door to future tax hikes that would be peddled to the public as "soaking the rich" or "soaking corporations."
Voters would be led to believe tax hikes are a free ride for them. In reality, when successful, taxpaying job creators, whether individuals or corporations, start leaving our state for friendlier tax jurisdictions, it would so damage the economy that it would hurt everyone.
Spare our state the ravages of a billion-dollar tax hike? and of many more tax hikes to come: Vote "no" on Amendment 66.
Andy McElhany, Colorado Springs
Politicians are up to old tricks
Quotes from the Oct. 24 Wall Street Journal's editorial page: "66 follows the well-trod union script of claiming to raise taxes in the name of better schools." "Amendment 66 would raise the rate to 5 percent on income up to $75,000 and to 5.9 percent on higher earners. That's a 26.6 percent tax increase on anyone making more than $75,000 a year." "It's no accident that Amendment 66 states that (all tax revenues attributable to this measure to be collected and spent without future voter approval.)"
It is plain to see that Denver politicians are up to old tricks to soak the taxpayer with a large tax increase under suspect methods i.e. Amendment 66.
Ronald D. Kunzelman, Colorado Springs
Taxation on recreational marijuana
The Gazette's Oct. 24 editorial supports Proposition AA based, on a comparison of the proposed tax with that which exists on tobacco, accurately reported at 60 percent. What it fails to address is a comparison of the 25 percent (increasable to 30 percent) tax to that on alcoholic beverages. Colorado liquor excise tax rates are:
- 8 cents per gallon for 3.2 percent beer (0.075 cents per a can, plus 5 cents per can federal excise, 10 percent of 50 cent can of beer )
- 8 cents per gallon for malt liquor (beer) (0.075 cents per a can, plus 5 cents per can federal excise, 10 percent of 50 cent can of beer )
- 7.33 cents per liter for vinous liquor (plus 21 cents federal excise, 28 cents total, about 5 percent of total price)
- 60.26? per liter for spirituous liquor (plus $2.14 federal excise, $2.75 total, about 14 percent of total price)
So a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana compares to at most a 14 percent tax on alcoholic beverages.
It is naive to suppose that a high rate of taxation on recreational marijuana, which has extensive underground distribution systems, won't keep these systems underground.
Chris Baum, Colorado Springs