Thursday, March 10, 2011

Budget decisions have Coloradans thinking revenue

When a group of Coloradans got an inside tour of the state's budget (and its problems), a big majority agreed it's time to start thinking about revenue.  More than 100 people attended a budget event hosted by the Denver Post on Wednesday.  When asked about taxes, 68 percent said they support the graduated income tax structure proposed by the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute.

The Denver Post reports the question came after the group got an opportunity to see how proposed budget cuts translate to a loss of services. With members of the state's Joint Budget Committee in attendance, the audience used the Backseat Budgeter web tool to take on the lawmakers' job of deciding where to cut the state's budget to save $1.1 billion.

Audience members were asked real-life budget questions. Cut $258 million general fund dollars for education like Gov. John Hickenlooper's plan suggests, or support look elsewhere for savings?  Close five community colleges, or privatize one of Colorado's major public universities?

It's not difficult to see how after making those difficult choices, the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute's idea of a graduated income tax, and additional revenue, appeared very sensible.

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