Tax hike could end Colorado’s run as low-cost haven, analysts say

A massive tax increase on Colorado's November ballot could make the state less attractive to businesses and wealthy people looking for a refuge from high-tax states like California and Illinois.

Travis Brown, author of the book How Money Walks, told Colorado Watchdog that Initiative 22, a ballot measure that, if approved, would hike state taxes by $950 million each year, would repel those looking to live in a low-tax atmosphere.

"When you look at it, you're really raising the price of work," Brown said, noting that progressives often use taxes to discourage some behavior, like smoking. "Why wouldn't you expect to get less of it?"

Brown's book and website reveal that Colorado's low taxes have made it a haven for those seeking relief from high tax states like California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey.

According to Brown's research, Colorado gained more than $13 billion in adjusted growth income since 1995, including $4.15 billion from California, $1.49 billion from Illinois, $760 million from New York and $610 million from New Jersey.

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