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Colorado State Tax Initiative (2011)

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The Colorado State Tax Initiative will not be on the November 1, 2011 statewide ballot in Colorado as an initiated constitutional amendment.[1]

According to the original proposed measure: a graduated corporate and individual income taxes would have been implemented; the state's sales tax would have been lowered from 2.9 cents to 2.7 cents; the sales tax would have been extended to include services; business-to-business services and health care would not have been taxed; and would have repealed the prohibition of a statewide property tax and local income taxes in the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.[2]

However, six similar proposals were submitted after the original petition was thrown out in December 2010. Four of the six proposals would have raised the corporate income tax to 7 percent. Two of the six would have required that corporations pay a minimum of $1,000 annually in state income tax. Three would have made the state's Earned Income Tax Credit permanent. All six proposed measures were pulled by supporters, The Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, because the group ran into opposition from chambers of commerce and believed that millions of dollars would have been raised to defeat any measure placed on the ballot.[3][4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Colorado signature requirements

Prior to circulating initiative petitions for qualification for the statewide ballot, the measure's title must have been approved by the Title Setting Review Board. The Board certified that the initiative complied with state's initiative laws, including the single-subject requirement.

The Title Setting Review Board heard the measure on December 15, 2010, however the initiative was thrown out after a late change was made to the text. However, the initiative had the option of being re-submitted for consideration. If the language was cleared then supporters could have begun circulation of the petition for the 2011 ballot. According to reports, if the measure had cleared the potential Title Setting Review Board hearing after re-submission, opponents could have challenged the measure at the State Supreme Court. Supporters planned to re-submit the proposal in late December 2010, which would have set the hearing date for January 15, 2011 or later.[1]


On February 3, 2011, the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute filed six similar initiatives, deciding to move forward from their original filing that was thrown out on technicality. According to the group's director, Carol Hedges, "We feel pretty strongly that we have some pretty serious problems that we’re facing. We are interested in beginning the process of bringing something to the ballot in 2011." The reason for the six different filings, according to reports, was so the group would have had initiatives ready for circulation if some were thrown out by lawsuits or other reasons.[5]

See also