Coloradans are about to be inundated with ads about all the different initiatives that will be on the ballot this November. All told, there are 11 statewide ballot measures this year and it’s likely to get confusing. Luckily, there’s one ballot measure that is a no brainer for our state: Proposition #121 – the State Income Tax Rate Reduction measure.
Unlike President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which literally does nothing to lower the rate of inflation, Proposition #121 does exactly what the title of the measure says it will do – lower state income taxes for everyone. Precisely, it will reduce the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.4% and would be retroactive for income earned in 2022. In sum, this will reduce total state income tax collections by a combined $572 million.
That’s real money that will be going back into working Coloradan’s checking and savings accounts. But what’s more attractive about this measure is that Proposition #121 will save Coloradans money far into the future.
Projections by the Common Sense Institute, a nonpartisan policy think tank, shows that Proposition #121 would save Colorado taxpayers at least $1.6 billion over the first 5 years after its passage. Simplifying the math, this is essentially because both 2022 and 2023 tax savings would be realized in 2023 without causing any corresponding reduction in the 2022 TABOR refund, which was already budgeted.
What’s even better about Proposition #121 is that it will add jobs to Colorado’s economy. The dynamic impact of tax savings in 2023 would be an estimated additional 9,110 jobs. It would also reduce the size of the state government by increasing private-sector employment and decreasing government employment in the long run.
But what’s best about Proposition #121 is that it’s a voter-led proposition that was placed on the ballot because enough Colorado voters felt it was important that this measure be brought to a vote of the people.
There will be a total of six voter-initiated propositions this November in addition to the five that were referred to the ballot by the legislature. That’s in addition to the more than 150 political races across the state. There will also be many local initiatives considered in most counties as well.
As your mailboxes begin to fill up with all direct mail, I would encourage everyone to do their research. Many liberals will say this is bad for our state, but that’s only because we’re reducing the amount of money that can be spent increasing the size of the state government.
Colorado’s budget has grown $10 billion in just the last 4 years. And as costs skyrocket for everyone, Proposition #121 is simply a great first step in giving some money back to the people who deserve it most – the hardworking people of this state. Vote yes on Proposition #121, it’s what’s best for Colorado’s future.
Michael Fields is longtime political activist and a senior advance to Advance Colorado Action.
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