DENVER Two proposed initiatives to limit taxes began working their way to the November ballot Friday.
The plans by conservative activists, coupled with proposed tax increases that are already in the works, raise the possibility that Colorado voters will see a full range of choices on taxes this fall: raise taxes a lot, raise them a little, cut them or make it harder to ever pass another tax increase.
Initiative 20, by Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute, would cut the income tax rate to 4.5 percent, down from the current 4.63 percent. Its a reaction to an initiative by Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, to raise income taxes to 5 percent and sales taxes to 3 percent for three years.
Last month, the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute filed ballot initiatives to create a graduated income tax, with the top rates at 9.5 percent.
This is about offering people a choice. Theyll be able to increase taxes, have a tiny decrease in taxes, or do nothing at all, Caldara said.
Caldara presented his Initiative 20 for review by the Legislatures legal staff Friday, the first step toward qualifying it for the ballot.
Also Friday, the man who ran Tom Tancredos campaign for governor presented Initiative 21 to the same legal staff. Cliff Dodges proposal is very similar to a question the Legislature is close to placing on the ballot.
Both ideas would require a 60 percent supermajority of voters to amend the state constitution. But Dodges initiative would also require 60 percent of the voters to approve a state tax increase.
Before any of the initiatives make the ballot, they need to be approved by a secretary of states panel, survive possible legal challenges and get more than 70,000 petition signatures from registered voters.
Reach Joe Hanel at firstname.lastname@example.org.