It appears Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston will stop at nothing to raise taxes on Coloradans.
In 2013, nearly two-thirds of Colorado voters rejected a ballot measure from Johnston to increase taxes an eye-popping $1 billion.
Following this overwhelming result, even Colorado Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper was forced to concede that policymakers must prove increased spending is needed before raising taxes.
But, unlike Hickenlooper, Johnston has refused to give up on his tax-hiking crusade. Last week, he released a plan promising to make taxpayers pay more if elected. Instead of accepting the will of the voters, Johnston argues 2020 will be a “wave election” where Coloradans suddenly learn to love higher taxes.
Unfortunately for Johnston, if Colorado voters overwhelmingly didn’t want higher taxes in 2013, then they won’t want them in 2018 or 2020. Johnston’s stubborn refusal to accept this fact shows just how out-of-touch he is with the concerns of the people of his state.
Colorado Independent: Running for governor in Colorado, education reformer Mike Johnston says what schools really need is m-o-n-e-y
Former state Sen. Mike Johnston, known as an architect of the state’s most sweeping education reforms, says that what Colorado’s schools really need is money.
Now a Democratic candidate for governor, Johnston released an education platform this week that hinges on a major tax reform and calls for free full-day kindergarten, more access to preschool, and higher pay for teachers, as well as two years of higher education or career training, debt-free, in exchange for community service.
In an interview with Chalkbeat, he said the unifying theme is equity, “from the youngest kids to the 55-year-olds who have only known being a coal miner for three generations.”
An important lesson from Amendment 66, Johnston’s unsuccessful effort to get voters to approve a major tax increase for education, is to not pursue changes to fiscal policy in an off-year election, he said. Turnout is low, and the voters who do show up are among the most conservative.
“The wave election of this generation will be 2020,” Johnston said.