Guest post by Actuary Rich Bratten
Some Political Sausage Gets Thrown to the Floor
This is too funny to pass up. It seems that the Majority Party in the Colorado House of Representatives is not even competent enough to raise taxes as they would like.
Emboldened by a recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling stating that rolling back current tax exemptions to collect more tax money does not constitute a “tax increase” (therefore is not subject to voter approval as provided for by the Colorado State Constitution) the Democratic Legislators in the House have proposed a series of bills to do just that. The bills have been dubbed the “Dirty Dozen” by many because it appears to clear-minded thinkers that this circumvention of the state’s Constitution is bad legislation.
However, an interesting thing happened on the way to the dozen tax increases. One of these bills, HB10-1198, was apparently intended to increase taxes by eliminating the tax credit that taxpayers could take for any Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) that they have to pay at the federal level. So why was this bill the only one killed in committee?
In reviewing this bill, the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) Staff Fiscal Analysis for the House Appropriations Committee concluded that the bill would raise revenues by $9 million by suspending the AMT tax credit. Another group of staffers, the Legislative Council staff, concluded that the bill would actually result in a LOSS of revenue because the wording of the bill would not only do away with the AMT credit, but also Colorado’s own Alternative Minimum Tax itself.
The House Committee on Finance has tabled House Bill HB10-1198 indefinitely. It appears that the wording in the bill accidentally would have had the effect of repealing both the AMT as well as the AMT credit. Judging from the JBC Staff Fiscal Analysis, and the rest of the bills they have proposed in the “Dirty Dozen”, this was not their intent.
It appears that rather than fix this embarrassing faux pas, the House Finance Committee simply killed their own bill. Thank God for small miracles.
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