CO Grocery Sales Tax? Corp Lobbyists Pushing One at the State Capitol

(This is a remarkable development, and a huge moral high ground opportunity for Democrats. Will they take it? – promoted by Colorado Pols)

NOTE: We are discussing this on AM760 this morning. Listen in on your radio dial or online at and call in to join the discussion.

Should Colorado join Alabama and Mississippi as the only states to apply full sales tax to groceries? That’s what corporate lobbyists are pushing at the state capitol, according to the Denver Post:

Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, and Sen. Moe Keller, D-Wheat Ridge, both members of the Joint Budget Committee, said they had been approached by officials with the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry to talk about alternatives to eliminating business tax breaks. Ferrandino said one idea the industry association raised was to partially eliminate or temporarily suspend the state’s sales-tax exemption on food purchased for home consumption. Colorado enacted the exemption in 1979.

I’m not against raising taxes – not at all. In fact, I think we need to raise some taxes on the wealthy in this state. But creating a new grocery tax on the bare necessities – a new tax that would be one of the single most regressive taxes in America? Um, no.

What’s amazing – and grotesque – is the lobbying for this. Here we have corporate lobbyists so anathema to the concept of shared sacrifice – so against temporarily suspending a few of their few special tax loopholes – that they are willing to advocate for an immoral tax on the bare necessities of life, a tax that would hit every single Coloradoan – and hit those at the lowest end of the income ladder the hardest.

As I said, it’s grotesque.

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. caroman says:

    never knows what he’s done.” Neil Young

    Predictable as sunrise, the state’s business lobby squeals like a stuck pig when a proposal to close their special interest tax loopholes is made.

    They’ve really over-played their hand this time.  It was great to see two Dem lawmakers (and even Josh Penry!) label their suggestion to tax groceries as “repulsive”.  

    These, and other exemptions need to be closed if we’re going to balance the budget without gutting our state’s education system (already ranked about 49th by most measures).

  2. Pam Bennett says:

    The essentials of life, food, health care, and housing energy, should never be taxed.  The taxes are non-progressive and detrimental to life in Colorado.  Although many people are less affected by taxing the essentials of life it is imperative that those least able to afford food, health care and proper home heating be protected from these taxes.  

  3. Ellie says:

    I am totally and unequivocally against such an idea.  I have to ask: has CACI lost it’s collective mind?  

  4. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Hey if the douche-bags at CACI can make this claim, so can I as I’ve started several companies in this state.

    So, speaking for the non-scrooge business leaders in this state, yes we should all pay our fair share to help in this time of declining tax revenue. And so step one should be to eliminate every business tax deduction/exemption/holiday/reduction.

    And one thing we should not do is increase taxes on the basic necessities that everyone needs as those taxes disproportionally hit the poor. The one exception to this I can see is an increased tax on gas and/or energy because we do need to address global warming and foreign oil. But in that case, it should be matched with additional help for the poor.

    To sum it up, increase the taxes on us businesses – we can afford it and have not been paying our fair share. This message is brought to you by the alliance of business owners who care about the state of Colorado.

  5. BlueCat says:

    the higher a percentage of your income has to go to just keeping body and soul together.  This is a truly despicable idea that will have the working poor who earn just a tad too much for food stamps paying the highest percentage of their income in taxes for food of anyone in the state. On the plus side, it will never fly.  

  6. ajb says:

    Here’s a link to a list of their members:

    Call your local CACI “partner” and ask them why they support this.

  7. was Sirota again attacking the President, Sen Udall and Sen.Bennet and Mayor Hickenlooper.

    Yesterday on FB he referred to Rahm Emanuel as basically spineless execrement.

    I fail to see how he supports the Democratic party and have stopped listening to him.

    He feeds left wing hate like more notable right wing radio hosts feed the teabaggers.

    • butterfly says:

      Thom Hartmann is just as bad.  Maybe they are taking lessons from each other?  It gets old really fast, especially when it is all in a whiney tone of voice or just plain screeching!

      I think that if they are so unhappy, they should run for office!  I suspect their perspective would change.  There is not anyone alive that either of them can support, well almost no one, but there are a couple of dead people.  David was even upset with Bernie Sanders recently!  


  8. sufimarie says:

    related to this. I was only able to be there for about 30 minutes and first on the agenda was SB-1190 which would release the tax-exmpt status of junk mail. Did you know they’re tax exempt? That makes me hate them even more.

    The representatives from the junk mail industry, the tea-baggers, and Cleve Tidwell, all criticized lifting the tax-exemption status of junk mail because it would make single “diverse ethnicity” mothers and disable children homeless er something.

    Cheri Gerou (R) was there to soothe the crazies with support. BARF  

  9. …paragraph without inciting class warfare David.  Well done, sport!

    I agree entirely that a regressive tax of this sort is entirely uncalled for, ESPECIALLY at this point in time, but maybe you could put a little more thought into our budget hole than “tax those blood sucking rich bastards!”

  10. fatboy says:

    A significant number of cities and counties in Colorado already tax food for home consumption.  From a purely budget perspective this would raise a mountain of money.

  11. He was pleasent to Perlmutter for a change. Apparently he heard from people that his trash mouthing Demcrats sucks.

    So he then wrapped himself in the flag and quoted Zinn (of blessed memory) that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

    I agree. Sirota should learn that people that disagree with him, like the President’s chief of staff, are not cowardly feces. People who object to his Democratic bashing are not stalkers.

    He should take his own advice.

    I might add that he placed Zinn, and Chomsky, on the same level as Mt Rushmore.

    Giving Zinn credit on the day of his death is ok.Comparing hin to Mt Rushmore is ridiculous. Chomsky has written several interesting books on power and failed states. He also happens to be an avowed MArxist.

    Dissent against MArxism will transpire in this country for as long as the constitution and the bill of rights stand.

  12. CaninesCanines says:

    I’ll take a stab: the “Caviar Sales Exemption of 2010.”

  13. I know that Sirota is not wrong all the time.

    He’s local and flat attacks local Democrats more than local right wing radio hosts.

    I don’t like stating that someone is a Marxist.He’s not a Republican, and he isn’t a Democrat. He clams to be left of center, and he lovingly referred to Chomslky as the intellectual Mt Rushmore of the day.There are far better sociolgcial Marxists than Chomsky to read in my opinion. Jurgen Habermas comes to mind as does Hannah Arendt. He’s not s as well read as he thinks.

    He does feed left wing anger like rght wing radio does the right.

    Meanwhile, the table is beng set for the radical right to come back to power.  

  14. I dont understand this world, it seems full of greed..I would like to get into any profession where I can be useful for my country that’s why I am looking for

    army jobs these days.

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