Tax Burden Memo

MEMO

To: CSPR Board Members

Re: Colorado’s tax burden

Tax statistics in Colorado are often cited using a per $1,000 of personal income measurement rather than using a per capita model. Using the per $1,000 measurement tend to put Colorado’s tax burden relative to other states near the bottom. However, using a per capita model places Colorado more in the middle of the pack.

Here are some examples1:

Combined State and Local Taxes

  • Per capita Colorado ranks 26th
  • Per $1,000 of personal income Colorado ranks 46th

Combined State and Local Property Taxes

  • Per capita Colorado ranks 23rd
  • Per $1,000 of personal income Colorado ranks 32nd

Combined State and Local Sales Taxes

  • Per capita Colorado ranks 17th
  • Per $1,000 of personal income Colorado ranks 23rd

 

Another factor when discussing taxes in Colorado is taking into consideration the strong decentralized local government tax system that has resulted in state taxes that are among the lowest in the Country while having a local government tax burden that is among the highest.

State Taxes:

  • Total state taxes per capita – Colorado ranks 40th
  • Sales and use per capita – Colorado ranks 44th

Local Taxes:

  • Total local taxes per capita – Colorado ranks 8th
  • Local sales taxes per capita – Colorado ranks 2nd

1Colorado Legislative Legal Council Staff Memo: July 6, 2009 “How Colorado Compares in State and Local Taxes”