Of eight candidates for Colorado governor, who would release their tax returns?

The Colorado Independent: Read my lips: No view taxes.

That’s what some candidates in Colorado’s eight-person race for governor, Republican and Democrat, are saying about the prospect of releasing their tax returns before the June 26 primary election.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate. I don’t think it’s relevant,” said Democratic Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, when asked if she would release the past three years of her tax filings for public view. “I don’t know what relevance it is in a gubernatorial election,” she said.

Before becoming the state’s second-in-command, Lynne, a first-time candidate, was an executive vice president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. She has put $100,000 of her own money into her campaign so far, and was the only candidate who flat-out said she wouldn’t release her taxes when asked by The Colorado Independent.

In Colorado, a candidate for governor is not required by law to release his or her tax returns. In other states, candidates have done so voluntarily. Candidates for governor do have to file personal financial statements, but they don’t show income levels.

Republican Greg Lopez, the former mayor of Parker, said he would have to think about whether to allow a reporter to inspect his tax returns, but also expressed skepticism. “For what purpose?” he asked. “I can understand at the presidential level, but we’re talking about the state level here. So I don’t really know that that really impacts the decisions of voters.”

Other candidates for governor in Colorado said they are more willing to allow voters to see how they handle their personal finances. State and federal tax filings would show who pays these candidates, how much the candidates earn and how much they give to charity, whether they’ve filed taxes late or incurred penalties, and how much they pay in an effective tax rate, among other details.

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