While much of the media’s attention has been on the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) points to the defeat of Amendment 66 in Colorado, which would have replaced the state’s flat income tax with a progressive system and raised the top rate by a whopping 27 percent, as one of the most important outcomes of the 2013 elections. The measure was rejected by 66.2 percent of voters.
ATR worked in the run up to Tuesday’s election to educate the public on the adverse impact that would’ve resulted from passage of such a massive tax hike, especially at a time when other states are moving in the opposite direction, lowering and flattening taxes. ATR’s analysis of IRS data last month showed that, in addition to taking more money from individuals and families, Amendment 66 would’ve raised taxes on over half a million small businesses in Colorado, greatly reducing their job-creating capacity.
This is just the latest failed effort to tax “the rich.” In 2010, a ballot measure that would have imposed a state income tax for the first time ever in blue Washington state and only been applied to the wealthiest one percent of Washington residents was also overwhelmingly defeated by a 2-1 margin.
Despite millions of dollars coming in from out-of-state billionaires like Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg in support of this job-killing tax hike, Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected Amendment 66 by a 2-1 margin. This shows that even in Democrat-run states like Colorado, voters have no tolerance for higher state taxes on top of the more than 20 tax hikes that President Obama has signed into law in recent years.