DENVER (CBS4)– From a new tax on nicotine to a lower tax on income, the 2020 election means lots of changes for Colorado taxpayers.
“I thought that was a great outcome. As you know, I think you should tax things that are bad, not good. Income is great.”
Gov. Jared Polis says that’s why he backed Proposition 116 that lowers the state income tax rate, “I’d rather do away with the income tax myself. I don’t think it’s a good tax.”
While cutting income taxes, voters approved a new payroll tax to cover a paid family leave program. Employees making around $50,000 a year will pay about $40 less income tax and $234 more payroll tax. Employers also pay $234 per employee but they were spared a property tax increase with passage of Amendment B, while homeowners will pay more than they would of otherwise.
Nicotine users will also pay more with passage of Proposition EE which will help fund one of the governor’s top priorities – pre-school for every kid. But it won’t happen for two years and, because the measure is statutory, the legislature could pass a bill changing the distribution of the money.
Polis is confident that won’t happen, “The good news is we had legislative buy-in on EE. It actually wound up being referred to the ballot by the legislators. They wrote it. They’re sponsors. They care deeply about pre-school.”
In addition to taxes, Coloradans weighed in on fees, or what some call backdoor taxes, which include everything from car registration to park admission. Lawmakers will now need voter approval for any significant new fees.
“It just means longer ballots for people. People want to vote on more things, it’s fine with me,” says Polis.
While voters rendered split verdicts on fiscal measures, most voted straight-ticket Democrat for candidates. Polis says it doesn’t mean Colorado is blue.
Most voters, he noted, are unaffiliated, “They’re willing to give both sides a fair shake and pick the best man or woman to represent them in office.”
Watch CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd’s full interview with Gov. Jared Polis: