Hickenlooper exploited state tax loopholes for his benefit while pursuing higher taxes for Coloradans
While Hickenlooper was pushing for more than $2 billion increase in ballot measures, taxes and fees on Colorado families while he was the governor, he was exploiting tax loopholes to reduce his own tax burden.
In one instance, Hickenlooper abused a conservation easement tax deduction and tax credit program and agreed to pay the IRS more than $50,000 to settle the case. A Colorado Department of Revenue audit found that Hickenlooper pocketed too much money from controversial conservation easements on 295 acres of undeveloped land he owns in Park County. The easements resulted in $1.1 million in federal tax write-offs.
In another instance, Hickenlooper took advantage of an agricultural tax break intended for tree farmers on another piece of undeveloped land in Park County, which cut his taxes by $13,670. The land was reclassified from vacant to agricultural in 2006 to take advantage of this lucrative tax break.
Hickenlooper did not respond to repeated questions about why he took this advantage, while failing to produce “any tangible wood product” required for the benefit, which was created to help Christmas tree farmers in Loveland and Longmont.
As of February 2019, Hickenlooper is still taking advantage of these tax breaks for both properties.