Colorado Governor Wants Voters to Decide on Tax Hike

Date: January 31, 2017


Small business got an early mention in Gov. John Hickenlooper’s State of the State speech last month, though the governor also talked about a possible tax increase.

“As we evaluate each solution, let’s ask ourselves: Does it keep our communities safe? Does it help those unable to care for themselves? Does it create good-paying jobs? Does it help small business? Does it improve quality of life?” Hickenlooper said.

In turning to infrastructure, the governor noted that Colorado has $9 billion in unmet transportation needs over the next decade—and the need is growing.

He asked the legislature to put a question on the ballot asking voters to approve a tax increase for transportation and infrastructure. “Let’s decide what we take to voters in November, and let’s make our case to the public,” he said, without specifying which tax he would like to see increased.

Small business owners, however, have already made known that they would not support a significant hike to the sales tax for transportation. In an NFIB poll, 77 percent of Colorado members oppose raising the sales tax from 2.9 percent to 3.52 percent for transportation needs.

Hickenlooper also announced a new office to help expand broadband access to rural areas.

“Businesses should be able to open their doors wherever they want, especially in smaller communities,” he said. “Fiber optic cables are today’s power lines for farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses.”

Unaddressed in his speech were several issues of great importance to small business owners, including reforming the state’s complicated sales tax system and requiring a cost-benefit analysis of every new rule affecting small business.

Related Content: Small Business News | Colorado | Economy

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