Colorado governor receives ‘C’ grade in fiscal policy report card

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis received a “C” grade for his fiscal policies in a report card released by a libertarian think tank.

The Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute released its “ Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2020” on Monday.

“This report discusses ways that states can respond to today’s budget challenges, including tapping revenues from marijuana legalization and cutting costs by prohibiting public-sector collective bargaining,” the think tank said in a news release. “The report also describes how states can prepare for future downturns by building large rainy day funds and creating stable and pro-growth tax bases.”

Polis received a “C” grade along with 12 other governors from across the country. The Democratic governor “scores about average on taxes and spending in this report,” the Cato Institute said.

The governor had a spending score of 53, a revenue score of 47, and a tax rate score of 50, according to the report.

The report noted Polis’ “varying positions” on Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), the constitutional amendment approved by voters which requires their approval for all tax increases.

Polis supported Proposition CC, a 2019 ballot measure rejected by voters that would have let government permanently keep excess tax revenue that’s reimbursed to taxpayers, while also celebrating an automatic individual income tax rate reduction under TABOR, the report noted.

“Polis says that he supports reforming the tax code by eliminating loopholes and reducing income tax rates,” the report said.

Cato also noted Polis approving legislation increasing taxes on some businesses and his support for a ballot measure to increase taxes on tobacco and nicotine products.

Polis in June signed the state’s budget bill, which included $3.3 billion in cuts prompted by the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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