Colorado State Sen. Lucia Guzman, appointed to fill a District 34 vacancy, likes taxes. A lot. During a debate between Guzman and Republican challenger Derec Shuler, Guzman gave us something to think about (like moving to a state without an income tax).
Her statements were in response to a moderator’s questions at Regis University on Oct. 21.
In the clip above, Guzman says, “All of us are going to have to pay more and give.” Well, that’s straightforward enough.
Then comes this…
“You know what, I had a chance to buy a car. I’m buying a new car, now I had a chance to buy it more cheaply by ordering it from another state but I’m not going do that. Colorado needs those state taxes. I had an opportunity to buy the car in Littleton. I’m not going do that because I’m a resident of Senate District 34, I’m a resident of Denver, I’m going to buy my car here, but I’m still going have to pay those taxes.”
I understand the argument to “buy locally” and help the local economy in which you reside.
But where the state budget is concerned, I want elected officials squeezing each nickel until it cries. I don’t want sweetheart deals that raise the cost to all taxpayers because of a home-state mentality. I want state government to make economically rational decisions, lower taxes and encourage competition.
She also floated the idea of a progressive income tax…
“We’re going to have to be courageous, whoever is there . . . we’re going to have to do something about taxes, we’re going to have to do something about improving revenue . . . I’ve always said, I’m not running in this election in order to be reelected, I’m running so I can help do something about the situation. At the end of the day, at the end of fours years, I may be so unpopular, but I am going to do what is courageously needed to be done. And if we need to fix the tax structure so that we bring a progressive tax – that we do this or we do that – that’s what we might need to do.”
Taxes are punitive in nature so a progressive tax (one in which the more economically successful you are, the higher a percentage in taxes you pay) can actually discourage success. In fact, what we need in Colorado is MORE rich people – not fewer. In states where tax rates are increased on the richest portion of the population, some make the economically rational choice – they leave. We heard a similar idea of a progressive income tax put forth by another Denver-based state Senator, Chris Romer, earlier this year.
Then Guzman explained to us that taxes are akin to the “state’s paycheck”…
“It goes back to taxes, revenue, that’s where we get…It’s as if, when you go to work – and you make your money – your paycheck comes from the work you do, the state’s paycheck comes from taxes, predominately taxes.”
So, if we have hired the state and we pay its paycheck, can we fire it? I guess that’s what elections are for . . .