Talk-radio host should correct House Minority Leader’s assertion that Amendment 66 would raise taxes on small business

On a Sept. 5 show, KFKA talk-radio host Tom Lucero told Colorado House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso that government shouldn’t be an obstacle to small business.

Agreed. But talk-radio hosts shouldn’t be an obstacle to small business either. Or to educating our children.

But Lucero established himself as such an obstruction by failing to correct DelGrosso when the new Colorado House Minority leader claimed that Amendment 66, which would raise income tax to support education, would be a burdensome tax on small businesses:

DelGrosso: Well, the reality is, I think it’s mid- to upper eighty percent of all businesses in Colorado are small businesses.  And close to eighty percent of those small businesses are set up either as a sole proprietorship, an LLC, or an S Corp., which means that their taxes that their business makes flows through onto their personal income tax.  So, you will see about 80% of businesses in Colorado see a tax increase as a result of this.  [Listen here.]

But Amendment 66 doesn’t affect Colorado taxes on businesses. It’s a tax on “individuals,  estates, and trusts.”

It’s true that some business owners (like me) choose to take profit from their businesses (e.g., in the form of dividends) and account for it on their personal income tax filings.  But that’s because it’s their income! So they pay personal income tax on it, just like they would income from any other source or employment.

If you make income from a business, whether you own the business or not, you pay income tax. The individual would be taxed, not the business, under Amendment 66, and no one will be taxed twice.

With Lucero apparently agape at the fictitious thought that small businesses could be facing a new tax, DelGrosso went on to say:

DelGrosso: When the taxes go up, not only does that get passed along to the consumer, another way that that affects folks is that affects pay raises for the business.  So maybe, because the taxes went up, I’m not going to be able to give pay raises this year.  I’m not going to be able to hire somebody, or I’m going to have to let somebody go, or I can’t expand.

It’s hard to imagine a small business owner who would look over his personal budget, including the income from his LLC or S Corp, and decide not to invest more in his business due to the tax increase under Amendment 66.

ColoradoCommitsToKids calculates that an individual making the gross median income of $57,000, will pay an additional $211 in tax. A small businessperson who claims gross income on his individual income tax return of $150,000 will pay an additional $24 per week. Double that and it’s still not enough for the greediest capitalist to do much with.

But, collectively, it’s enough to give our kids the opportunity they deserve to succeed on Colorado.

That’s why media figures like Lucero, whose background as a former CU Regent should sensitize him to the educational needs of our kids, should counter DelGrosso’s misinformation with facts. Or have an educator on the show who can.

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