Jared Polis on Tax Reform



Tax relief is the best mechanism to relieve cost of living

Tax relief is the best mechanism to relieve cost of living pressures and spur economic growth for everyone in our state. As demonstrated by our healthy surplus in Colorado, taxes are simply too high: income taxes, property taxes, and the state sales tax. I challenge Democrats and Republicans to work together to improve our economic growth and success by not taking taxes we can't keep from people and instead working on a bold, balanced, progressive package, including cutting the income tax rate.
Source: 2024 State of the State Address to the Colorado legislature , Jan 11, 2024

Colorado first state allowing deferral of some property tax

I'm proud that this year, Colorado is the first state in the country where every homeowner can defer paying some of these increases in their property taxes until their property is sold. No one should lose their home simply because its value, and therefore property taxes, went up. We should also make the senior homestead tax exemption portable. Our seniors should be able to downsize without having to pay higher property taxes, freeing up their larger old homes for younger, growing families.

It's no secret that I, and most economists, despise the income tax. I was proud to have supported two successful income tax cuts at the ballot and since I took office our income tax rate has gone from 4.63% to 4.44%, helping produce strong economic growth and low unemployment. I don't expect that we can fully eliminate the income tax by our 150th anniversary, but let's continue to make progress.

Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Colorado legislature , Jan 17, 2023

Implemented historic tax relief; funded Child Tax Credit

We've implemented historic tax relief. We funded the Colorado Child Tax Credit for the first time, giving families with children under age six up to $1,080 per year per child. We doubled the state Earned Income Tax Credit, giving workers up to $1,495 per year. We cut taxes for retirees by exempting social security from the state income tax, saving seniors up to $654 per year. Voters approved reductions to the Colorado income tax rate, saving families about $100 per year on average.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Colorado legislature , Jan 13, 2022

Get rid of special interest tax breaks for the few

We have worked together to make Colorado's tax code more fair by getting rid of special interest tax breaks that benefit the few to lower taxes for the rest of us. This year I propose we eliminate the business personal property tax for small businesses. I propose we double the Earned Income Tax Credit, and provide up to $600 in tax credits per child for nearly 200,000 families in our state through the Colorado Child Tax Credit. I propose that we stop taxing seniors' Social Security Benefits.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Colorado legislature , Feb 17, 2021

Eliminating special interest breaks lowers everyone's rates

Every Coloradan will receive real tax relief as our state income taxes go down to a historic low of 4.5%. This tax cut applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, corporations, and every small business. In addition, we delivered a tax cut for 144,000 small businesses in Colorado by cutting wasteful subsidies to big box retailers. We should continue down the path of eliminating tax breaks for special interests so that we can lower rates for everyone without reducing state revenue.
Source: 2020 Colorado State of the State address , Jan 9, 2020

Reduces taxes for the hardworking, instead of special breaks

Despite all of our progress, far too many people are either barely getting by, or falling behind. Our administration's mission and mandate from the voters begins with tackling the everyday challenges that Coloradans face because of the rising costs of living:Together, we're going to build an economy where Coloradans from all walks of life don't just get by, but thrive. I want to say: our administration will work tirelessly to make our state work better for you--so that you can earn a good living and share in our special way of life.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Colorado legislature , Jan 10, 2019

Repeal Trump's tax cuts

Q: Support President Trump's proposed tax cuts?

Jared Polis (D): No. "I proudly wrote the bill to repeal @RealDonaldTrump's tax giveaways [to the wealthy]."

Walker Stapleton (R): Yes. "I was the only treasurer in the country with the courage to support Donald Trump's tax cuts."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Colorado Governor race , Oct 9, 2018

Raising estate tax to 1990s level means $448B in new revenue.

Polis voted NAY Death Tax Repeal Act

Heritage Action Summary: This bill would repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes, as well as cut the top gift tax rate.

Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote YES: (4/16/2015): Collectively, these measures repeal the pernicious double tax known as the `death tax,` and result in a tax cut of $269 billion over 10 years. The death tax hurts economic growth and therefore limits the ability of Americans to prosper. Repealing the death tax would generate an average of 18,000 jobs annually and increase the overall net worth of American households by $300 billion a year. The federal government should encourage, not punish, Americans who work and pay taxes their whole lives, save enough to support themselves through retirement, and retain the ability to fulfill the American Dream by passing along a better life to their children.

Secretary of Labor Robert Reich recommendation to vote YES: (robertreich.org 6/4/2015): At a time of historic economic inequality, it should be a no-brainer to raise a tax on inherited wealth for the very rich. Yet there`s a move among some members of Congress to abolish it altogether. Today the estate tax reaches only the richest 2/10 of 1%, and applies only to dollars in excess of $10.86 million for married couples or $5.43 million for individuals. That means if a couple leaves to their heirs $10,860,001, they now pay the estate tax on $1. The current estate tax rate is 40%, so that would be 40 cents. Yet according to these members of Congress, that`s still too much. Our democracy`s Founding Fathers did not want a privileged aristocracy. Yet that`s the direction we`re going in. The tax on inherited wealth is one of the major bulwarks against it. That tax should be increased and strengthened.

Legislative outcome: Passed by the House 240-179-12; never came to vote in Senate.

Source: Congressional vote 15-H1105 on Apr 16, 2015

Other governors on Tax Reform: Jared Polis on other issues:
Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.State A.G. Daniel Cameron(R)

vs.Ambassador Kelly Craft(R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Jeff Landry(R)
vs.Shawn Wilson(D)
vs.John Schroder(R)
vs.Sharon Hewitt(R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R,withdrew)
vs.Brandon Presley(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2024:
DE: Gov. John Carney (D, term-limited);
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D)
vs. Matt Meyer (D)
IN: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R, term-limited);
Sen. Mike Braun (R)
vs. Suzanne Crouch (R)
vs. Jennifer McCormick (D)
MO: Gov. Mike Parson (R, term-limited):
Jay Ashcroft (R)
vs. Bill Eigel (R)
vs. Mike Kehoe (R)
vs. Crystal Quade (D)
MT: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R)
vs. Tanner Smith (R)
vs. Ryan Busse (D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2024 (continued):
NC: Gov. Roy Cooper (D, term-limited);
Dale Folwell (R)
vs. Michael Morgan (D)
vs. Mark Robinson (R)
vs. Josh Stein (D)
vs. Andy Wells (R)
ND: Gov. Doug Burgum (R)
vs. State Rep. Rick Becker (R)
NH: Gov. Chris Sununu (R, retiring)
vs. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R)
vs. Joyce Craig (D)
vs. Chuck Morse (R)
vs. Cinde Warmington (D)
UT: Gov. Spencer Cox (R)
vs. State Rep. Phil Lyman (R)
VT: Gov. Phil Scott (R) unopposed
WA: Gov. Jay Inslee (D, retiring);
Hilary Franz (D, withdrew)
vs. State Sen. Mark Mullet (D)
vs. County Chair Semi Bird (R)
vs. WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D)
WV: Gov. Jim Justice (R, term-limited);
vs. WV State Auditor JB McCuskey (R, withdrew)
vs. WV Secretary of State Mac Warner (R)
vs. State Del. Moore Capito (R)
vs. WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R)
vs. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D)
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