This “Democrat” Governor Isn’t What He Seems!

( – Colorado Governor Jared Polis has always been sort of an unusual case. Though a registered Democrat, Polis has, in effect, governed more like a left-wing libertarian, championing limited government, school choice, drug legalization, and tax cuts. In fact, in an op-ed written by Reason editor Nick Gillespie in April of last year, he declared that Polis “might be the most libertarian governor in America.”

In a recent move that will surely anger those in his own party, Polis is looking to seriously curtail the income tax rate in the state. 

In his recent state of the state address, Polis made his intentions very clear: “It’s no secret that I, and most economists, despise the income tax.” Though he did not seem optimistic about abolishing the tax altogether (not in this legislative session anyway), he did see hopeful about reducing it significantly. 

What, though, is Polis’s plan to do this? Well, it goes a little something like this: Colorado’s constitution has what’s called the TABOR amendment. This, in effect, takes superfluous government revenue and puts it into the pockets of citizens to the tune of $750 a person. Democrats, instead of giving that money to the people, want to reallocate it to the public school system. Polis, however, is diametrically opposed to this.

A reduction in the income tax would, therefore, only minimally reduce TABOR benefits.

Ultimately, the goal would be to convert TABOR refunds into tax cuts. This idea was first proposed by the Independence Institute. 

Polis is certainly not emblematic of your typical Democratic politician. Rather, his style of governance is closer to that of a socially liberal Republican or a libertarian. 

Having won re election by a sizable margin in 2022, Polis enjoys resounding support in his state. 

Whether or not his ambitious tax plan will take effect, however, is yet to be seen. 

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