2020 Election, Ben Murrey, Proposition 116, TABOR, Taxes

Murrey: Out-of-state deep pockets opposing a tax cut for Coloradans

Big money from Washington, D.C. and the East Coast is flooding into Colorado in a last-ditch effort to convince voters to oppose the 0.08% income tax cut on the ballot this year.

If approved by voters on November 3rd, Proposition 116 would cut Colorado’s flat income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55%. Based on the money trail, some big dollars from outside of Colorado do not want Coloradans to receive this modest tax break.

Protect Colorado’s Recovery, the issue committee organized to oppose Propositions 116 and 117, has received over $2 million dollars in outside backing, according to official filings, and about 75% of that came from Washington D.C., New York City, and Raleigh.

Of the $1.6 million from out of state, most came from three political funds, including the North Fund and the Sixteen Thirty Fund based out of D.C. and the Strategic Victory Fund out of North Carolina. Both the North Fund and Strategic Victory Fund provided $500,000 last year in support of Proposition CC, a measure to take away taxpayer refunds from the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

A North Fund spokeswoman refused to disclose to the press where the group’s money comes from. Instead, she told The Colorado Sun in an email last year that it “partners with committed community leaders to help make our country a more just, fair and equitable place.”

Of the $568,000 raised within Colorado, all but $160 came from Denver-based special interest groups. Only one donation came from any Colorado source outside of the Denver metro area—$35 from a member of the Regional Transportation District Board of Directors at a Longmont address.

The issue committee organized in favor of Proposition 116, Energize Our Economy, has not taken any money from outside of Colorado.

The latest public polling on the measure by Civiqs puts proponents ahead by 16 points, with 51% of Coloradans in favor, 35% against, and 14% undecided.

For the undecideds waiting to vote on Tuesday, the question is why wealthy interests outside of Colorado want to prevent Coloradans from getting a small state-level tax cut.

Ben Murrey is fiscal policy director at the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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