Hickenlooper talks 'reluctance' of voters to OK new taxes

9:39 PM, Nov 2, 2011   |    comments
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"Without a doubt, individuals are saying government has to live within its means," Rep. Ken Summers (R-Lakewood) said on Wednesday, one day after Colorado voters summarily rejected a tax hike for education proposal.

Proposition 103 lost by more than 250,000 votes.

"Reverting back to the tax structure of the 90's is not appropriate for the recession of 2011," Summers said.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) said the vote showed a sense of "reluctance" on the part of voters to "take more money out of their household budgets."

Hickenlooper was quietly criticized by some supporters of the measure during the campaign for not taking a position on the question. While he routinely brushed aside questions asking for his specific position, he frequently told those asking the question that he never believed the environment was ripe for a tax increase.

On Wednesday, during a one-on-one interview with 9NEWS, Hickenlooper said the environment remains somewhat hostile to tax increase proposals.

"I think voters want to see government that is smaller, leaner, and struggling in the same way they are struggling," he said. "We have to make sure people see that we're trying to cut costs everywhere we can, that we're eliminating waste, that we're being efficient and effective."

9NEWS Political Analyst Floyd Ciruli says anyone thinking about asking voters for more money in 2012 would be wise to pay attention to what happened to 103.

"Right now," he said, "adding revenue looks extremely difficult."

His advice: "I would say, first of all, you better really need it. And second of all, it ought to be designed as frugal as possible. You ought to take the people through the process."

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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