Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Metro Mayors Promote Record High Sales Taxes

Kevin Flynn, on the new website In Denver Times, reports that 12 of 34 municipalities in the metro area will hit 9% sales tax if voters approve RTD’s new four-tenths of a percent sales tax increase (approximately $160 million more per year for light rail; voters gave RTD $160 million annually in 2004 for the complete system build-out) (see In Denver Times).

A few of the highest rates would be in normally tax-conservative areas, such as Aurora, Brighton, Federal Heights, Northglenn and Thornton (only parts of some municipalities would reach 9% due to tax variations between counties and cities).

Historically, cities and towns were resistant to sales tax increases not specifically for local projects and operations due to their significant dependence on sales taxes, but in recent years, they have been swept up in a general enthusiasm for regional sales tax increases, often reducing local tax capacity.

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