Amendment 66 will restore Colorado's ability to raise enough revenue to meet our schools' growing needs and make the income tax more like those of our neighbor states, all without overburdening Coloradans.
Colorado's low single-rate tax is a key reason state resources are so depleted compared to almost every state in the nation, according to Amendment 66 will improve Colorado's income tax, an analysis by the Colorado Fiscal Institute, Bell Policy Center and Colorado Center on Law and Policy. Amendment 66 will restore the ability of Colorado's income tax to raise the resources we need to create a well-educated, competitive workforce that will boost our economy, the analysis finds.
"For decades, Colorado had a tax system that reflected taxpayer ability to pay," said Carol Hedges, executive director of the Colorado Fiscal Institute. "Since changing to a flat tax in 1986, we have slowly depleted our capacity to fund schools and other important priorities that improve our economy."
The changes proposed in Amendment 66 – which include tying tax rates to income like most other states do – will not only raise $950 million annually in much-needed revenue for education but will also make our tax system more efficient, more productive and more equitable.
According to Amendment 66 will improve Colorado's income tax:
- For nearly half a century, Colorado used a tiered state income tax, where rates rose along with income. Since the switch to a single income tax rate for all taxpayers, and after two subsequent rate cuts, Colorado has frequently struggled to generate enough revenue to meet the state's growing needs.
- Colorado ranks 48th among the states in tax collections per $1,000 of income, 27.7 percent below the national average, meaning that it has far fewer resources than almost every other state for essential public services, especially schools.
- Amendment 66 will not overburden Colorado taxpayers. Colorado will still rank well below the national average in state and local taxes – 39th per $1,000 of income.
- Low-income Coloradans pay a greater share of their income in taxes than those with higher incomes. Amendment 66 would narrow the differences.
"Amendment 66 provides an opportunity to improve how we raise public dollars while at the same time investing more in our kids' future. A66 is a win-win for Colorado," Hedges concluded.
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Amendment 66 will improve Colorado's income tax is one of three policy briefs outlining the economic benefits of Amendment 66. The previous briefs showed that investments in education spur economic growth (Investing in education will boost Colorado economy) and that increasing the income tax won't harm the state's economy (Increasing income tax won't harm Colorado economy).