‘New’ Race-Based Tax on White-Owned Businesses

The suggestion to implement a higher tax rate on businesses owned by fair-skinned individuals has stirred up controversy leading up to the Denver City Council election. Candi CdeBaca, a member of the council who is seeking reelection, proposed that these businesses should be subject to higher taxes, and the excess revenue should be redirected towards black-owned businesses, which are taxed at a lower rate.

Although CdeBaca’s proposal to impose higher taxes on businesses owned by fair-skinned individuals has faced criticism, especially due to the requirement of assessing business owners’ skin color, her opponent, Darrel Watson, has also faced backlash for his anti-white views. Watson’s belief is that white-owned businesses should experience negative consequences to promote race-based reparations for black-owned businesses, but his approach differs somewhat from that of CdeBaca.

As a Democratic Socialist, CdeBaca has proposed the establishment of additional business improvement districts (BIDs) throughout Denver to enable the implementation of her proposed race-based tax on white-owned businesses. She contends that this measure is necessary because capitalism was constructed on the foundation of appropriated land, labor, and resources.

Critics of CdeBaca’s proposal have pointed out that race-based taxation is illegal and unconstitutional and that policies like these will only serve to further divide people by pigmentation, sexuality, economic status, and political ideology. Furthermore, they argue that such measures are blatantly discriminatory and offensive and that they marginalize individuals with fair skin.

Denver is a city characterized by diversity, with slightly over 50% of its population being non-Hispanic white. District 9, a region located in North Denver that encompasses Clayton, Cole, Elyria-Swansea, Five Points, Globeville, Skyland, and Whittier, is also a diverse locality and the current site of the political competition between CdeBaca and Watson for the city council position. With the ongoing shift in the city’s demographics, it remains unclear what consequences will follow once whites become the new minority and how they will receive special benefits.