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.