The Devil’s Taxes in the Mountain States

The devil began his journey on Route 666 in Arizona and New Mexico, paid for with tax dollars and officially called the Devil’s Highway. The name has since changed but the legends live on.

His visit to Utah was equally inspiring. Report Number 666 of the Utah Foundation in May 2004 discussed Utah’s tax situation, announcing that Utah had the third highest state and local tax burden of all the Mountain States with the promise of more.


Nevada wasn’t quite as joyful with its ban on state taxes. Even property taxes took a hit. The 2001-2002 Statistical Analysis of the Roll for the Dept. of Taxation of Nevada showed 666 tax exemptions for fully disabled veterans. Nevada rolled the dice and the devil wasn’t pleased.

He went looking to Idaho in search of his taxes. House Bill 666 was introduced by the Revenue and Taxation Committee in Y2K. The goal of the bill was to reduce the devil’s taxes.

Neither did Montana offer up their proper taxes. In 2005, House District 53 received 666 tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit. This did not bode well for the devil. Tax exemptions, reduced taxes and now tax credits? Removing the devil’s name from their very highways? The nerve of the peons in these Mountain States!


Wyoming made a feeble attempt to appease the devil in 2001. The Department of Audit for the State of Wyoming conducted 666 audits to ensure state revenue compliance and collected $21.6 million in gross revenues. Things were looking up for the devil’s tax coffers.

It wasn’t until the devil visited Colorado that he was promised his proper taxes. The State of Colorado was proclaimed to have the unlimited power of taxation in Parsons v. People, 32 Colo. 221, 76 P. 666, 670 (1904). The devil was quite pleased to see unlimited taxes in his honor and bestowed upon the Mountain States the devil’s seal of approval.

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