That's why she thinks a proposed initiative to raise taxes to restore state funding to state colleges and public schools will be "ripe" for passage come November's statewide general election.
That's also why Hedges believes Gov. John Hickenlooper and others are misreading the 2011 chances for voter approval of a tax hike in November. And that state Sen. Rollie Heath's announced plan to ask voters to raise the state's sales tax and their own state income taxes has a chance to win voter approval.
Hedges is project director of the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, a unit of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, a local think tank and advocacy group that seeks "justice and economic security for all Coloradans." I wrote about Hedges here last June after her group suggested the state's tax burden isn't as heavy as Colorado Republicans persistently whine about.
She told a small gathering of center supporters this week that Colorado taxes "as a percentage of income ranks us as 49th in the country" for tax burdens on citizens.
Heath's proposal would raise the state income-tax rate from 4.63 percent to 5 percent of taxable income, and the state sales tax from 2.9 percent to 3 percent, and apply all revenues generated by the increases to education funding, where the state also ranks at the bottom among states.
"Everyone says that you have to show people real impact, personal pain, individual harm or implications," Hedges says of any proposed tax increase. She said cuts in this state budget, when it goes into effect, will offer Colorado voters the "gravest" proof ever of the need to raise state taxes.