State of Colorado Archives: on Tax Reform

Steve Barlock: Popular vote on any tax law or subsidy

Barlock wants to "strengthen" TABOR, the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights that requires voters approve any new tax increases. He would run a statewide ballot measure to add voting on tax incentives to that requirement. If the government wants to give a company a tax break, voters would have to weigh in. "I'm against all subsidies," he says. "If it's a tax break people vote on the taxes. If it's a tax increase people vote on the taxes."
Source: Colorado Independent on 2018 Colorado gubernatorial race Sep 5, 2017

Mike Johnston: Tax relief for workers and middle class

Mike fought for a $100 million tax credit to put money back in the hands of our hardest working families. He fought for legislation that made sure mom and pop businesses can compete on a level playing field by requiring that online, out-of-state businesses pay their fair share. He worked to extend the low-income housing tax credit. Mike reinstated and fully funded the ability for seniors to reduce their tax payments on the homes they own.
Source: 2018 Colorado Governor website Sep 1, 2017

George Brauchler: Supports Taxpayer Bill of Rights

As governor, I will stand up to those whose knee-jerk reaction to every challenge is to legislate behavior, regulate business and increase taxes and fees on our hard-working families. I will do so by protecting the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, rejecting unnecessary regulations that destroy jobs, and protect Colorado from the heavy hand of Washington mandates.
Source: 2018 Colorado Gubernatorial campaign website Jul 12, 2017

George Brauchler: Use existing funds rather than raising taxes

In terms of this campaign agenda, Brauchler didn't offer many specifics. But he made clear he is "strongly opposed" to the bipartisan legislative proposal for a statewide sales tax hike to raise money for $3.5 billion in road projects. He prefers a bond on the current gas tax collections--money the state's transportation department said is needed for existing road maintenance.
Source: Denver Post on 2018 Colorado Gubernatorial race Jun 22, 2017

George Brauchler: Oppose sales tax hike to raise $3.5B for road projects

Brauchler made clear he is "strongly opposed" to the bipartisan legislative proposal for a statewide sales tax hike to raise money for $3.5 billion in road projects. He prefers a bond on the current gas tax collections--money the state's transportation department said is needed for existing road maintenance.
Source: Denver Post on 2018 Colorado gubernatorial race Apr 5, 2017

Victor Mitchell: Not one darn penny for additional taxes

Mitchell says,"I love TABOR," referring to the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, a favorite state constitutional amendment of conservatives that liberals say hurts funding for schools, transportation and other public needs. "I was supportive of TABOR from the get-go and still am. I don't believe we should be asking for one darn penny from any citizen of our state of additional taxes, not one penny."
Source: Colorado Gazette on 2018 Colorado Gubernatorial race Feb 14, 2017

Victor Mitchell: No tax increases, not even to boost education spending

The 51-year-old from Castle Rock served one two-year term in the state House in 2007 and led a successful effort to defeat a 2011 ballot measure to increase taxes to boost education spending. Instead of political experience, Mitchell's campaign is emphasizing his career as an entrepreneur who turned around failing businesses.

"I think people really want an outsider, somebody that knows how to fix things and problem solve in a meaningful way," Mitchell said.

Source: Denver Post on 2018 Colorado Gubernatorial race Feb 13, 2017

Darryl Glenn: Simplicity & neutrality: lower capital gains & dividends tax

Our tax code is cumbersome, bureaucratic and a deterrent to a robust economy. A legitimate tax reform policy must recognize that the purpose of a tax system in a free society should be to fund services that are authorized by the Constitution. Taxes should not be used to redistribute wealth and fund unnecessary or ineffective programs. Comprehensive tax reform is critical to restoring our economic growth, job creation and international competitiveness.

Unfortunately, our current tax system is overly complex, filled with policies that pick winners over losers and creates a disincentive for personal savings and investments. Our tax system must be transformed around two basic elements: simplicity and neutrality. We need to focus on adopting a fair or flat tax policy that positively impacts job creation and promotes innovation without penalizing personal savings and investments. Consideration must also be given to eliminating the double taxation around dividends and capital gains.

Source: 2016 Colorado Senate campaign website Apr 14, 2016

Jon Keyser: Reform our tax code so it is simple and fair

Jon will fight to give job creators every opportunity to succeed in our new bottom-up economic system. That starts with cutting regulations and reforming our tax code so it is simple and fair. Colorado families will prosper when we unleash the power of innovators and job creators.
Source: 2016 Colorado Senate campaign website Feb 3, 2016

Tim Neville: Hard work should be rewarded, not taxed and regulated

Source: 2016 Senate campaign website, Oct 9, 2015

John Hickenlooper: $5 trillion of tax cuts to the wealthy is not the answer

Q: Governor Hickenlooper--what tips the scales in your state and in this election?

A: When you look at the mess that President Obama inherited--losing 800,000 jobs a month--in the first few months of his presidency, he's turned that around. He's got 32 straight months of job creation, 5.2 million jobs, the national export initiative in the first two years, exports were up 38%. I think people are going to hear that and I think they are also going to recognize that Governor Romney's plan of adding $2 trillion to military spending and at the same time promising $5 trillion of tax cuts largely skewed to the wealthier parts of the population without any specifics, right? I mean, what are those deductions and tax credits he's going to get rid of? Are we going to lose the home mortgage deduction? Are we going to lose the deduction from giving to philanthropic organizations like churches that are in many cases our best partners at fighting poverty?

Source: Meet the Press interview on 2014 Colorado governor race Oct 28, 2012

Cary Kennedy: OpEd: proudly championed the state's mill levy freeze

Let's pause for a minute to remember the issues that Kennedy is trying to avoid talking about, and why she is losing in every poll taken to date.
Source: Huffington Post on 2018 Colorado gubernatorial race May 25, 2011

Ken Buck: Extend Bush tax cuts & cut spending to pay for it

Q: Do you agree with Republican leaders who say that tax cuts do not have to be paid for?

BUCK: No, I don't. I think we've got to find spending cuts. And I don't know what you're talking about in terms of tax cuts.

Q: Extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the highest earners. The president says it would cost an extra $700 billion. If you want to cut that deficit, do you then have to pay for the tax cuts you want to extend?

BUCK: Well, first, where are the families going to pay for the money that they've got to send the federal government? That's the bigger question to me.

Q: You either believe in the balanced budget or you do not. If you extend tax cuts, you said just a moment ago they have to be paid for. Then how do you pay for it?

BUCK: We pay for it by cutting spending. When we leave money in the hands of taxpayers, they buy things; they pay taxes. It's not a one for one exchange. Every economist I've talked to has told me that it would be bad in a recession to try to increase taxes.

Source: NBC's Meet the Press: 2010 Colorado Senate debate Oct 17, 2010

Michael Bennet: Cut taxes $12B on small businesses

When asked, "What would you do in Congress to create jobs and turn the economy around," both men said the key would be small businesses. Buck said, "As a leader in Washington DC, I would do everything that I can to make sure that our small business people have a lower tax burden. That those small business people know that we aren't going to pass cap and trade, and cause their energy bills to go up. That we aren't going to let regulators legislate in administrative settings rather than to have the United State Congress legislating. That we are going to give our small businesses the kind of stability that they need." To which Bennet fired back by saying, "Two weeks ago, I voted to cut taxes on small businesses in this country by $12 billion. And that bill was opposed by my opponent in this race."
Source: KKTV coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Michael Bennet: Open to compromise on temporarily extending Bush tax cuts

Both men emphasized their willingness to break from party orthodoxy. Bennet said that he'd be "open" to a compromise on "temporarily" extending the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans. Buck told the audience, "I will not swear allegiance to the Republican party in Washington, DC."
Source: ABC News coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate Sep 12, 2010

Ken Buck: Endless spending in Congress means higher taxes

I am proud to be the first Colorado candidate for Senate to sign the Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge. As your Senator I will not vote for tax increases.

We are not under-taxed. The federal government is overspending. And as the endless string of spending in Congress continues, so will the call for higher taxes. As the push for higher taxes emerges, I will push to downsize government, not raise taxes. I'll stay true to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge I have signed.

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" Aug 10, 2010

Michael Bennet: Target tax cuts to struggling middle class families

We must engage in a fiscally smart tax policy. We should target tax cuts to those middle class families and small businesses that are struggling the most under the weight of this recession. At the same time, we must close tax loopholes that serve no purpose and simply allow some institutions to avoid paying their fair share.

None of this will be easy. These problems weren't created overnight, and they won't be solved overnight.

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, "Issues" Jul 2, 2009

Bob Schaffer: Cutting taxes increased revenue & unleashed economic growth

Q: It has been your party, in all fairness, that has been in charge for the most part of the last eight years, and it has run up record deficits of now $500 billion.

SCHAFFER: You’re correct that under Republican leadership, deficits grew, and I think it has mainly been a function of war. However, I was in Congress for six years. I got elected 1996; I left in 2002. During those years, we did balance the budget. We did it by trimming the rate of growth in spending, but more than anything else, the tax cuts that we helped pushed forward, which applied to middle class households. Mark Udall likes to talk about it as tax cuts for the rich--but we actually grew the economy faster than had been projected--we actually increased the amount of revenue coming to the federal government while we were slowing down the rate of growth in spending and reforming on the regulatory side. Welfare reform, for example, & other reforms, helped unleash the productivity of the economy. We need to do that again.

Source: 2008 Colorado Senate Debate on Meet the Press Sep 28, 2008

Ken Salazar: Enact responsible tax cuts for low- and middle-class

I support responsible, common-sense tax cuts for low- and middle-income workers and their families and small businesses. We should make permanent the elimination of the marriage tax penalty; make permanent the expanded bottom 10% tax bracket; continue the child care tax credit for the middle class; make sure the alternative minimum tax does not reach middle-income taxpayers; and raise the estate tax exemption to $10 million to allow family farms, ranches and small businesses to stay in the family.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, Aug 11, 2004

Ken Salazar: More tax cuts and ending of loopholes

I will support responsible tax cuts for working families, not just the wealthy. And I will fight to close unfair tax loopholes that allow big corporations to move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying taxes.
Source: Candidate Website, “issues” Jun 19, 2004

William Owens: Has cut income taxes, sales tax, & marriage penalty

Coloradans today are paying nearly a billion dollars less in taxes annually than they were two years ago. We have permanently cut the income tax rate - twice - while also permanently lowering the sales tax rate. These cuts of the income and sales taxes accounted for 86% of the permanent tax relief taxpayers received from their legislature and their governor.

In addition, we have eliminated the marriage penalty, lowered vehicle registration fees, increased the elderly pension exclusion, and provided an income tax credit for long-term care insurance - all while we have twice increased the earned income tax credit for low-income Coloradans.

This tax relief was broad-based, fair, and good for all Coloradans. I worked hard for this tax relief because I firmly believe that this is the people’s money. They earned it. We did not. Coloradans should be given the opportunity to save, invest or spend those dollars, because it is their money - not ours.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Colorado legislature Jan 11, 2001

Ed Perlmutter: Supports progressive state income tax

Q: Do you support a flat tax structure for state income taxes?

A: No.

Q: Should Colorado grant a tax credit to individuals who donate food and to farmers who allow the needy to glean their land?

A: Yes.

Source: 1998 Colorado State National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Colorado Politicians: Archives.
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Page last updated: Feb 12, 2018