If Proposition 116 passes, someone making $1 million a year will get a tax cut of $800, while the average Colorado taxpayer who makes just over $46,000 a year would see only $37 in tax savings. In fact, 55% of the Prop 116's benefits — $90 million — would go to the top 3% of Colorado taxpayers.
An across-the-board tax cut like Proposition 116 makes Colorado's tax code even more unfair for families with low and middle incomes. Our communities need revenue to address the economic fallout of COVID-19, but Prop 116 will make even deeper cuts to services we need just so the wealthiest Coloradans can avoid paying their fair share.
Colorado has already cut $3.3 billion across the budget this year. This 25% total cut has been devastating for hundreds of thousands of Coloradans and no part of our state’s budget was spared. Some of the cuts we have already seen:
Prop 116 would demand another $154 million cut from our budget. To put that into context:
We can't afford to give the wealthiest Coloradans another tax break when so many families are struggling with the massive cuts to services and programs they rely on.
Economic justice and racial justice are intertwined. The current unfairness in Colorado's tax system disproportionately hurts people of color, specifically Black Coloradans. If passed, Prop 116 will only make our tax code less equitable and ensure the rich get richer while communities of color continue to be negatively affected by systemic underfunding in schools, health care, and housing.
The tax code is rooted in racist policies, but with targeted reform, it can become a tool for racial justice. Learn more about what Fair Tax Colorado's vision is for a fair tax system.
For too long, Colorado’s unfair tax system has limited Colorado's ability to properly fix our roads and fund our schools, let alone prepare for a crisis like COVID-19. Proposition 116 will not only continue decades of unfairness, but it will also add huge bumps on Colorado's road to recovery by cutting funding to vital services Coloradans need in the wake of COVID-19.
Now more than ever, we see why investing in our health, our schools, and our economy is critical to Colorado communities. When you add in the repercussions of this public health crisis in our own homes and across the state, it’s clear we can’t cut our way to recovery. But that's what Prop 116 will require us to do, all while giving hundreds and thousands to the top 3% of Coloradans who have been largely unaffected by COVID-19's negative impacts.
Learn more about what how a fair tax system could help Colorado as we look to recover from COVID-19 and beyond.
Income tax is just one portion of state and local taxes in Colorado. Once you factor in things like property and sales tax, the poorest 20% of Coloradans actually pay a higher share of their income in taxes than the top 1%.
Your effective tax rate is the average rate you pay based on all your taxable income.
Fair Tax Colorado is an effort that came out of the Vision 2020 Network, a network of organizations that have been working for the last few years to develop solutions to our unfair and inadequate tax code. Organizations who are part of Fair Tax Colorado include American Federation of Teachers, the Bell Policy Center, Colorado Education Association, Colorado People's Alliance, Colorado Fiscal Institute, Great Education Colorado, Together Colorado, and United for a New Economy.