GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Governor Jared Polis (D) squared off against Regent Heidi Ganahl (R) at the 2022 CMU candidate forum and the conversation around inflation took center stage.

All the questions asked revolved around pressing issues facing the Western Slope, and what more pressing issue is there than inflation?

Ganahl attacked Polis claiming that “we have one of the highest inflation rates in the county,” in Colorado. Ganahl then offered her solution to the inflation problem. “Reducing regulations [and], fees and going to zero income tax over eight years,” Ganahl said during the forum. But, the crux of this plan is Ganahl said she can do it without reducing any programs or services,” but doing it slow[ly] over time and not increasing other taxes.”

According to the AARP, there are currently nine states with zero income tax or moving toward it, but they have increased other taxes to compensate. Tennessee for example, which Ganahl mentioned as a zero-income tax success story, has the highest sales tax in the country at 9.55%.

States with Zero income tax:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire (by 2027)
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Polis said that Ganahl’s plan simply doesn’t add up. In fact, he claims Colorado’s economy isn’t in as bad of shape as Ganahl claims, saying,” We have one of the strongest economies in the Nation… There’s more jobs today in Colorado than there were before the pandemic.”

Polis also mentioned many of the other tax cuts and incentives he’s helped pass. “We’ve eliminated social security tax for seniors to make life more affordable for retirees,” said Polis. In addition, he mentioned cuts to the state property tax and income tax along with the funding of the child tax credit as measures he’s implemented while in office.

We should point out that the data claiming Colorado has one of the highest inflation rates in the country was published by the Joint Economic Committee Republicans State Inflation Tracker. It says Colorado has a 16% inflation rate, while the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows inflation for Colorado at 7.7%.