Senate Democrats Buck Polis, Kill Effort to Lower Taxes

DENVER – This afternoon, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee killed Senator Jerry Sonnenberg’s (R-Sterling) Senate Bill 19-055, which would lower Colorado’s income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.49%.

“I believe that Coloradans can spend that money better than the State of Colorado can,” said Senator Sonnenberg. “Apparently, Democrats on the Finance committee do not agree with that sentiment.”

Similar to legislation that Senator Sonnenberg has run in past sessions, Senate Bill 19-055 was inspired by Governor Jared Polis’ pledge to lower Colorado’s income tax rate by 3 to 5% (KRDO 11/27/18). Previously, Governor Polis praised Senator Sonnenberg’s effort to reduce the tax burden on Coloradans. (Colorado Sun 1-18-19)

“It’s unfortunate that reducing the income tax rate was a non-starter for Democrats, especially since Governor Polis has indicated his support for a proposal that does so,” said Senator Rob Woodward (R-Larimer County). “Reducing our income tax rate would lead to more economic activity and investment, which in turn benefits all of Colorado.”

Senator Lois Court (D-Denver), Chair of the Finance Committee, stated that she “wholeheartedly rejects” the idea that a permanent tax cut would be beneficial to the State of Colorado. She joined Senator Pete Lee (D-Colorado Springs), Senator Nancy Todd (D-Aurora), and Senator Julie Gonzales (D-Denver) in voting to kill the bill.

It is unclear whether Democrats intend to entertain the idea of an income tax decrease in the future, despite Governor Polis’ plans.

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