Monday, November 29, 2021

Governor Jared Polis defends his tax history. Fellow Democrats say it highlights massive inequality.

Four months ago, when Governor Jared Polis signed a package of bills to ease tax breaks for wealthy people and corporations, and shift savings to low- and middle-income people and small businesses, he lamented fiscal policy in the state, as if the country, rewards moneyed interests at the expense of the rest.

Democrats said at the time, “Often, it’s the big guys who have the lobbyists and get the special-interest break, and as a result, everyone pays more in taxes.”

But Polis, whose net worth is pegged in the millions, benefited from the very imbalance described that day, according to a new report from ProPublica, which details how ultrarich political figures like Polis were able to avoid paying taxes in some Huh. cases, or pay lower rates in others.

If you paid any federal income tax in 2013, 2014, or 2015, you paid more than the police could, as the outlet reported. It said that over the past decade, the governor’s overall tax rate was less than half of what was paid by an employee making $45,000 in 2018.

The ProPublica report, published Thursday morning, showed that the gap is in line with a system that has helped many other ultrarich people, including politicians and corporate executives, avoid overpaying their net worth in taxes.

This is due to the legal framework that allows wealthy people to classify their wealth outside of income tax. The Denver Post reported three years ago that Polis had no federal income tax for five years in the early 2000s, even when he was already millions in his 20s.

As of 2017, the police were worth more than $300 million, according to a report from the nonprofit OpenSecrets. This made the former US representative from Boulder one of the top five richest members of Congress. He did not release a recent tax return during his 2018 run for governor because, he said, he would not do so unless then-rival Walker Stapleton also refused. In an interview with Colorado Public Radio on Thursday, Polis did not commit to releasing his return during his 2022 re-election bid, but suggested he would do so if his as-yet-undecided opponent does.

The police’s office defended ProPublica and again in a written statement to The Denver Post on Thursday.

“Governor Polis has paid all the taxes she is required by law and no one has suggested otherwise and she fully agrees that the tax system favors the rich,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Koser said. “That’s why he has long supported tax reforms to create a better, fairer system, especially for middle-class workers and families.”

Koser also noted a package of tax-related bills Polis signed this summer to close “unfair loopholes and tax liabilities, to increase support for working families and small businesses for the wealthy and well-connected.” Has happened.”

But fellow Colorado Democratic officials who have worked against – and, in some cases, Polis – on fiscal policy, said reports on taxes paid by Polis and other wealthy politicians highlight fundamental economic inequality in this country.

Responding to officials and advocates

State Rep. David Ortiz, a Democrat from Littleton, said people like Polis should not be “punished for success.”

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