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Out Colorado Gov. Jared Polis Under Fire for Paying Little in Taxes

Jared Polis photo

Out Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has come under criticism after reporting by ProPublica revealed he didn’t pay federal income tax in 2013, 2104 and 2015, and between the years from 2010 to 2018, his overall rate was just 8.2 percent, which the outlet notes was less than half of the 19 percent paid by someone making $45,000 in 2018.

This is even though Polis is a centimillionaire, having earned hundreds of millions of dollars as a tech entrepreneur. The Democratic governor previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2009 to 2019. While in Congress, he was named the third-richest member in the House.

The revelations about Polis are contained in a trove of tax information that covers thousands of the wealthiest people in the country, according to ProPublica.

Polis is just one of the several ultrarich politicians revealed in the information to have paid little or no federal income taxes, used loopholes in the tax system to avoid estate taxes, or used their elected positions to fight against tax increases.

The Denver Post reported that Polis signed bills over the summer to reduce tax breaks for wealthy people and corporations, and shift savings to low- and middle-income people and small businesses. At the time, he bemoaned that fiscal policy in this state, like the country, rewards moneyed interests at the expense of the rest.

Previously, Polis was one of the most ardent critics of Donald Trump not releasing his tax returns.

When he ran for governor in 2018, Polis did not release his tax returns saying he wouldn’t do it as long as his opponent, Walker Stapleton, also refused.

In an interview with Colorado Public Radio after ProPublica's revelations came out, Polis didn’t commit to releasing his returns during his 2022 reelection bid but suggested he’d do it if his as-yet undecided opponent does. He did put forth alternatives to taxing the wealthy, however, he did not explain how those would affect his taxes.

“I think it's important to point out there's nothing that anybody has said in any article, other than that I have paid all my taxes required by law,” Polis told the station. “To be clear, nobody is saying anything else. I also agree with the premise that the tax system favors the wealthy and big corporations.”

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