Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s humorous riff in January that “there’s no appetite for taxes anywhere, all over the state. Well, maybe a couple neighborhoods in Boulder…,” is reverberating in September, now that Proposition 103, the $3 billion tax hike pushed by state Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, is on the Nov. 1 ballot.
Now comes Heath (as Colorado Peak Politics points out), claiming Hickenlooper’s tacit support for Prop 103, which would raise the sales tax and income-tax rates for five years, purportedly to fund education.
“You’ve probably noticed that the governor has changed his rhetoric dramatically — he’s not saying that there’s no appetite for a tax increase, so his rhetoric is very different than it was,” said Heath, as reported by The Colorado Statesman.
Well, actually, we hadn’t noticed, since the same Statesman story by Peter Marcus quotes Hickenlooper as reiterating last week that he “would not support a tax increase my first year…”
Heath’s gambit seems to call for a definitive statement on Prop 103 from Hickenlooper. Unless, of course, the governor plans to magically levitate above the issue for another seven weeks and await the voters’ verdict.
And that may be the plan. A Bloomberg story on the initiative cites an e-mail from Eric Brown, Hickenlooper’s spokesman, saying the governor “has no plans to endorse or oppose” Prop 103.