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Colorado Capitol Report

Signatures Secured on Three Ballot Initiatives While One Increasing Taxes is Dead


Signatures Secured on Three Ballot Initiatives While One Increasing Taxes is Dead

During the 2020 Election, there will be several ballot initiatives for Colorado voters to consider.  This week, proponents of three initiatives submitted enough signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office while proponents of a progressive initiative (#271) increasing taxes on voters failed to secure enough signatures.   Ballot initiatives in Colorado require at least 124,632 validated signatures to qualify for the 2020 ballot.  Below is a description of those measures:

Initiative 306:  Reduces the state income tax from 4.63% to 4.55%. The proponents of this initiative led by the Independence Institute submitted 197,000 signatures.

Initiative 295: Requires any enterprises created by the State, and that collect over $100 million in fees over five years to be approved by the voters.  The creation of enterprises has been a recent approach by the Colorado General Assembly as a way to avoid asking voters for approval of policies that require a tax or fee to pay for a State service or program. The proponents of this initiative, led by Colorado Rising State Action, submitted over 196,000 signatures in support of this initiative.

Initiative 283: Mandates a paid family and medical leave State administered program to be funded by workers and employers.  This proposal has been defeated in the State Legislature for the last six years and the opposition was led by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce in collaboration of its members and other business organizations due to the $1 billion cost of the program as well as other financial and administrative consequences for employers and workers.  The initiative led by CO Families First submitted 205,000 signatures.

Tax Increase Measure Fails Due to Insufficient Signatures

Initiative 271: Is Dead!

The proponents of this measure which included the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, the Bell Policy Center and the CO Education Association failed to secure enough signatures from voters, therefore it will NOT appear on the 2020 ballot. The measure would have created a very progressive state income tax system by changing the rate to the following:

  • reduce current income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.58% for taxpayers earning $250,000 or less annually;
  • raise the tax rate to 7.00% for taxpayers earning $250,000 to $500,000;
  • raise the rate to 7.75% for those earning $500,000 to $1 million; and
  • raise the rate to 8.9% for taxpayers earning above $1 million.

Colorado voters have historically opposed measures that increase their tax rates and it is unlikely that this measure would have passed during the 2020 Election.

Please contact Loren Furman at lfurman@cochamber.com with any questions.


Opportunity for Colorado Chamber Members to Serve on Legislative Redistricting Commissions

Every ten years, commissions are charged with redrawing Colorado’s congressional and legislative districts to equalize population after the Census.  “Redistricting,” as it is called, is one of the most consequential activities affecting Colorado politics and policy-making.  In 2018, Colorado voters approved two amendments to the Colorado Constitution (Amendments Y & Z) to reform the Colorado legislative redistricting process.  Based on these amendments, each Commission is composed of 4 Democrats, 4 Republicans and 4 unaffiliated voters.

Beginning August 10th through November 10th, the congressional and legislative redistricting commissions will be soliciting applications for individuals to serve in 2021.  We need fair-minded business owners or operators to serve on these Commissions to avoid “gerrymandering” of districts, so please consider applying!  Information is attached here with additional details.

Thank you!