Heidi Ganahl wants to eliminate Colorado’s income tax, which accounts for about a third of the state’s budget

Income tax revenue is the largest source of funding for Colorado’s general fund. It’s expected to account for more than $11 billion this fiscal year.

Jesse Paul
The Colorado Sun
Heidi Ganahl announces her run for governor on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at Rosie’s Diner in Monument. Ganahl, an entrepreneur, author, and member of the University of Colorado's Board of Regents, is the only remaining Republican elected statewide in Colorado.
Olivia Sun/The Colorado Sun

DENVER — Heidi Ganahl, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, is campaigning on a bold promise to eliminate Colorado’s 4.55% individual income tax, the largest source of revenue for the state’s general fund, during her first four-year term.

But Ganahl, a University of Colorado regent and the only remaining Republican in statewide elected office, hasn’t explained how she plans to eliminate Colorado’s income tax without dramatically affecting the state’s budget, nearly one-third of which is made up of income tax dollars.

Ganahl would either have to slash programs and services to make up for the lost revenue — likely including education funding — or find billions of dollars elsewhere by trying to hike other taxes or enacting new fees.

“It’s doable,” she said in an interview last month without offering detailed plans on how she would do it. “It’s not going to happen overnight.”

Republicans have been slowly chipping away at Colorado’s income tax rate for years. The latest effort is a question on the November ballot that would reduce the rate to 4.4%. But conservatives have mostly avoided calls to eliminate the income tax, which has been around since 1937, because no one has presented a feasible way to do it. 


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