Colorado Senate Passes Bold Tax Reform

DENVER, CO – Today, the Senate passed a pair of bills working to reform our tax code by supporting families and local businesses; investing more in education, public health, and other basic state services; and closing regressive special interest tax loopholes. The bills, both sponsored by Senators Dominick Moreno & Chris Hansen, seek to build on progress made with tax relief legislation last year and aim to ensure Colorado’s economic recovery is efficient, equitable, and sustainable.

“The pandemic has both exposed and deepened existing inequities as well as created new ones,” said Senator Moreno (D-Commerce City). “As we recover, we can either continue business as usual, with decades-old special interest tax loopholes benefitting a handful of entrenched interests, or we can reform our tax code and uplift hardworking families, small businesses, and the most vulnerable Coloradans. The choice is clear.”

“Colorado’s tax code has been deeply unfair for far too long. Between our flat income tax structure, TABOR, and other restrictive fiscal policies, our state is entrenching power and protecting the status quo at the expense of hardworking people,” 
said Senator Hansen (D-Denver). “These bills will insert equity and integrity into our tax code by expanding working family tax credits like the EITC, as well as limiting loopholes for millionaires and huge corporations.”

Colorado’s hardworking families and small businesses are struggling to climb the economic ladder, put food on their tables, pay for housing, or afford higher education – while high-powered corporate interests protect an outdated tax system that gives handouts to those who’ve already reached the top.

HB21-1311 takes a critical look at the tax code to modify or eliminate provisions that have objectively failed their intended purpose or are broadly disadvantageous to local businesses and families. Instead, the bill prioritizes hardworking Coloradans by expanding tax credits for low and middle-income earners while curbing unjust tax-avoidance practices by big business. This includes prohibiting corporations from hiding their earnings in off-shore tax havens as well as reinstating itemized deduction caps for the wealthiest Coloradans. 

According to a non-partisan legislative analysis, the provisions in this bill will raise approximately $110 million in revenue for the state and will pay out over $450 million to working families, low-income Coloradans, and small businesses over the next 3 years.

Meanwhile, HB21-1312 seeks to adjust other state tax expenditures to prevent exploitation and ensure consistent application of tax laws. Specifically, the bill modifies ineffective tax subsidies for the largest businesses by eliminating property tax loopholes as well as other excessive write-offs. 

These bills provide Colorado with an opportunity to support everyday citizens and small businesses that make up the backbone of our economy – prioritizing those being left behind in our recovery.

Both bills will now head back to the House for final action before being signed into law by the Governor. To read the bills and find updates regarding their status, visit leg.colorado.gov.

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Colorado Senate Passes Bold Tax Reform

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