State initiative to raise taxes on high-earners falls short

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DENVER  |  Supporters of a initiative to raise taxes for higher income-earners and lower them for those who make less won’t make Colorado’s November ballot.

A liberal coalition called Fair Tax Colorado said Friday the coronavirus pandemic stymied its efforts to gather enough voter signatures to submit the initiative for approval by the secretary of state’s office ahead of a Monday deadline, Colorado Politics reported.

Backers said the initiative would generate about $2 billion a year, with half going to K-12 education and half to transportation, higher education, public health or housing.

A proposal to ask voters to reduce the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55% is expected to make the ballot. Colorado Rising Action, a conservative group, submitted voter signatures on Thursday.

Colorado Rising Action also supports a pending initiative to require that any new fees or fee increases imposed by state lawmakers for state programs be approved by voters — as current law requires of any tax increase.