Hickenlooper Supported More Than $2.2 Billion Tax Increases While Governor

Hickenlooper Supported More Than $2.2 Billion Tax Increases While Governor

August 7, 2020

During his tenure as governor, John Hickenlooper proposed $68 million in tax and fee increases:

  • In 2017, Hickenlooper proposed cutting the senior homestead property tax exemption in half to generate $68 million for public schools.

Hickenlooper also publicly supported ballot initiatives that would have resulted in at least $2 billion in increased taxes and fees on Coloradans:

  • In 2013, Hickenlooper endorsed Amendment 66, which was a $1 billion per year tax increase for education. Voters rejected the tax increase by a 30 point margin.
  • In 2015, voters rejected a Hickenlooper-endorsed proposal to raise the sales tax by $10 million to fund college scholarships.
  • In 2016, Hickenlooper endorsed yet another voter-rejected ballot measure – Amendment 72 – to increase the tobacco tax by $315 million per year.
  • In 2018, Hickenlooper endorsed Proposition 110 to increase the state’s sales tax by $767 million per year for transportation projects. Voters rejected this proposal.

And he allowed at least $175 million in tax and fee increases to be enacted into law:

  • In 2014, Hickenlooper signed a bill to allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to increase fees on drivers. (FASTER Fees)
  • In 2016, Hickenlooper allowed a bill to increase restaurant fees become law.
  • In 2017, after strongly criticizing the popular proposal to legalize recreational marijuana, Hickenlooper proposed a 15% sales tax on the product.
  • Hickenlooper signed a 2018 bill to increase park admission and fees for hunting and fishing licenses.
  • Also in 2018, Hickenlooper signed a bill to allow health insurance broker to increase fees on customers.

While most of the tax-increasing ballot measures that Hickenlooper supported were denied by voters, he succeeded in increasing fees over $175 million, much of which Coloradans are still paying annually today.

In 2014, Hickenlooper said he would look at the option of imposing a vehicle-miles-traveled tax on Colorado drivers. In 2017, Hickenlooper expressed support for increasing the state sales tax or gas tax. And in 2018, Hickenlooper urged legislators to introduce a bill to raise the severance tax by an unspecified amount on the oil and gas industry — one of Colorado’s biggest economic drivers.

Hickenlooper made it clear that he’s happy to tax Coloradans more to solve state revenue problems or pay for pet projects.

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