Tuesday, November 10, 2009

As Expected, 2009 was a Bad Year for New Taxes

There were very few tax and bond initiatives on the 2009 November Colorado election because local governments and their consultants recognized that the economy would be a major detriment to passage and that few politicians and other civic leaders wanted to advocate tax increases.

And, of the few revenue measures that were on the ballot, there were high-profile losses, most importantly two of Colorado’s largest city lost tax increase efforts for what was described by the campaigners as critical to maintain libraries (Aurora) and police and fire personnel in Colorado Springs.

The national political mood didn’t help local tax advocates. Conservatives have been energized by the “too much, too fast, too expensive” talk show dialogue, and they were the dominant voting bloc in most of the low turnout elections.

There are some local government advocates and liberals who are in denial about the national mood. They believe the election was mostly positive. They cite the upstate New York congressional race and a few successful local bond and tax increases. But, the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia and reams of polling data show 2008 is over and 2010 will be much tougher for raising taxes and Democrats.

(See Denver Post and 9News articles)

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