Guest Commentary: Proposed Tax Hike Isn’t Well Thought-Out

August 23, 2013
FIELDS:  Simply throwing money at a problem doesn’t mean it will be fixed

FIELDS: Simply throwing money at a problem doesn’t mean it will be fixed

Do Colorado Democrats believe that big corporations are already “paying their fair share,” but small businesses are not? That’s the logical conclusion drawn from the fact that Initiative 22 raises taxes on “individuals, estates and trusts,” but leaves the corporate income tax rate alone. Many small businesses operate as sole proprietorships, partnerships, and “S Corporations” – which all file their tax returns as individuals. These small businesses would see their taxes go up, while corporations are left unaffected.

The big argument behind these education reforms is that it is an investment in the future of the state. Supporters claim that businesses would reap the benefits in the long run because we would have a better educated and prepared workforce. If that is the case, why aren’t corporations being asked to “invest” along with Colorado families? . . . And I thought that Republicans were typically accused of being the party of big business.

Let’s be honest. The whole tax increase is a bad idea. It would harm the economy. Simply throwing money at a problem doesn’t mean it will be fixed – especially when that money is taken from Colorado families at a time when the economy is struggling (Colorado’s unemployment rate is over 7%). This tax measure just isn’t well-thought out – which might be why Governor Hickenlooper was originally reluctant to support it. Recently, though, he has become a full-fledged supporter of the tax hike. For better or worse, this will have a big impact on his reelection bid next year. After seeing the agenda that the Governor and legislature pushed through last session, we can all be glad that tax increases must go to the people for a vote.

It looks like the Democratic playbook going forward will be to bring a new billion dollar tax increase up every two years – and when it fails, blame Republicans for spreading “misinformation” and for standing in the way of improvements in education. That way, there is no real accountability for the results of the money that we are currently spending. Why else would reasonable reforms be held hostage to this tax increase? The legislature could move away from a single “count day” and it could provide greater accountability for how money is being spent on the district level without tying it to this tax increase.

When reforms like: passing a parent trigger law, scratching teacher tenure, moving towards a bottom-up approach to funding, and approving targeted tax credits for low income students are consistently shot down, it makes it clear that there is a specific agenda to all this “reform.” Going forward, there should only be one agenda – doing what is best for children.

Sensible reforms should come before any talk of additional revenue. Voters want the government to prove that it can use the current education budget effectively before asking for more money. There is no doubt that the Initiative is going to have a tough time on the November ballot– especially in districts that would end up paying more in additional taxes than they would receive in additional revenue.

Michael Fields is a 6th grade teacher at a charter school in Aurora, and a Republican candidate for Colorado House District 37

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5 Responses to Guest Commentary: Proposed Tax Hike Isn’t Well Thought-Out

  1. Dora
    August 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Small Businesses are already hurting!! Taxes are not planned to be used for good use for schools but to do a whole muslim makeover in schools! Plus teachers are union therefore they treat their jobs like anyother union owned business… don’t have to work because I am secure in my job because I have union backing? Why do you think the teachers mainly fight for pay hikes & yet our kids don’t know how to spell or do arithmetic! 26% tax hike for small business & 8% for personal? Add obamacare & all other well planned out taxes &???? Yes, we have obamas agenda!!! BIG GOVERNMENT!! Please!! Good article Michael Fields! Someone that has done some extensive homework!

  2. Laura
    August 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Jeffco is one of those places where the kids will get back less than half of what parents pay. Estimates are Jeffco tax payers will contribute $125 million a year and Jeffco students will see back less than $60 million. How is this fair?

  3. Bob Terry
    August 26, 2013 at 5:46 am

    I have a great Idea MORE TAXES…you don’t know what to do with your money anyway. Hickenlooper and Colorado State Legislature, understand and know ONE thing…Raise Taxes.

    From this Initiative 22, and the 27% boondoggle for education…they think they are doing a great service to the State of Colorado. Great Government isn’t it.. and I’ll bet at the Colorado Legislative BBQ at the Pueblo State Fair, there was more crap thrown out to the masses, than all the Livestock there, could have produced.

    They want more revenue…cut all these bleedheart entitlements to the illegals, or better yet Angela Giron could show them how to save with her secondhand shopping tips.

  4. Joyce
    August 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Garfield County, two school districts.
    In 2011 Garfield County’s RE 1 voted in a tax increase ($4.8M) under “Vote for the Children” supporters. While RE-2 voted down a $3M tax increase.
    RE-1 gave teachers and staff $1500 bonuses with promises of more pay increases in the future. RE-2 went to a 4 day school week.

    In 2013 TCAP test scores were released.

    RE-1 raised taxes for schools, gave teachers/staffs bonuses, and TCAP test scores declined.
    RE-2 voted down the tax increase, cut the school week by one day, emphasized academic standards and test scores increased.

    I support Michael Fields. I don’t support further tax increases without proven outcomes. Vote NO on Amendment 66 in November. It will change our constitution forever.

    • Bob Terry
      August 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Yep Performance .and results speak for themselves .. The teachers Union is that for the teachers ..and when your children can pay dues ..maybe they might benefit …Douglas County has proven that at the chagrin and hatred of the Unions …and they want back in to show what they can’t and won’t do ..
      27 % tax for those over $75,000 dollars really we get a KISS for that… They do not and will not have my vote… This tax for the “Children” wit no results garbage is that ..Well said Joyce …and RE-2 showed what needed to happen in Garfield County


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