October 07, 2013
DENVER – A poll conducted last month showed that 56 percent of Coloradans oppose Amendment 66, the proposed across-the-board income tax increase backed by Democratic Governor Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
Just 35 percent of those polled support the measure, according to a recent survey.
According to pollster and political analyst Floyd Ciruli on October 4, “If the election were held today, this would lose.”
Without “deep liberals,” the tax-hike faces an uphill battle, added Ciruli.
That battle may become even more difficult now that tax increase opponents have filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate 39,000 of the 89,800 signatures submitted to the Secretary of State.
Coloradans for Real Education reform alleged that nearly 45 percent of the signatures gathered to place the controversial tax hike on the ballot were improperly collected.
The suit was filed by former State Senators Bob Hagedorn (D-Aurora) and Norma Anderson (R-Lakewood).
Backers of the tax-hike paid a D.C.-based firm nearly $800,000 to collect the signatures in August.
Ciruli noted both Hagedorn and Anderson “are respected by metro business and local government interests who have largely stood on the sidelines of early positioning of Amendment 66.”
Tax-hike opponents believe the initiative will do little to improve the state’s fiscal health, while inflicting more damage on the already ailing state economy.
According to Hagedorn, Coloradoans cannot afford the massive revenue grab as the economy slowly recovers.
“It’s on the backs of working people and seniors,” said Hagedorn.
“It just annihilates the state budget,” continued Anderson, referencing the 43 percent transfer from the state’s general fund to the state’s education fund.
Amendment 66 seeks to increase the state income tax rate by 8 percent on income less than $75,000, and by 27 percent on income over $75,000.
Despite raising over $3 million through September from liberal stalwarts such as Pay Stryker and Ken Gart, Amendment 66 continues to struggle to gain traction with the general public.
Regardless of whether the lawsuit is successful, the initiative would not be removed from the ballot in time before the election. However, opponents are banking that the trend lines will continue to go their way through November 5.