Will You Make A Difference?

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Dear TABOR supporter,

You may be the right person to make a difference in your town.  You can help to protect the citizens of Colorado by protecting the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, but without taking a lot of your time and at no expense to you.

Much of the work of the TABOR Foundation includes taking legal action against taxation without a vote of the people.

But most of our efforts are directed toward educating voters about why the right to vote on the taxes that you and your neighbors pay is a good idea – as well as calling attention to the all-too-common attempts to eviscerate TABOR.

You can help!

We are recruiting TABOR supporters to be a part of our volunteer Communications Team.

The job is simple but very important. Continue reading

Raison d’être

Featured

The Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) Foundation is a resource to educate and inform how TABOR protects Colorado taxpayers from runaway government spending.

Anything posted on this site is not an endorsement of any political cause, party, or group.

Sep 16

Sen. Rob Woodward: Why can’t Democrats respect the will of the voters?

By Sen. Rob Woodward 

If there is one thing that I’ve learned during my time in state government, it’s that Coloradans like to have their voices heard on taxes, fees and government debt. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) is often at the center of debate and discussion on these issues, but at every opportunity that voters have had, they’ve repeatedly upheld TABOR.

Colorado voters soundly defeated — by over 100,000 votes — an attempt to repeal portions of TABOR just two years ago when we voted down Proposition CC. Then, in 2020, voters strengthened TABOR by passing Proposition 117, which required that any new fees that feed into a government enterprise that expect to bring in over $100 million over five years must be voted on by the people. This initiative was born from necessity as some politicians found it convenient to bypass TABOR by simply switching out the term “tax” for “fee.”

This legislative session, Democrats, who have complete control over state government, were determined to not let you have a say when it comes to taxes and fees. Colorado Public Radio columnist Andrew Kenney dubbed this legislative session as “The Year Democrats Left TABOR Behind,” and I unfortunately must agree.

To continue reading the rest of this story, please click (HERE):
Sep 15

Towns and Cities Should Use Their Stimulus Windfalls to Cut Taxes

Towns and Cities Should Use Their Stimulus Windfalls to Cut Taxes

States can’t do it, but there’s nothing stopping local governments from issuing refunds.

By Judge Glock

Sept. 14, 2021 12:54 pm ET


President Biden speaks during at an event on his tour touting the American Rescue Plan Act in Columbus, Ohio, March 23.  PHOTO: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS

Since the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in March, state policy makers have fiercely debated how to spend nearly $200 billion in stimulus funds. Few Americans, however, have heard plans for the $130 billion that went to cities and counties.

Despite concerns during the pandemic that the economic downturn would bankrupt local governments, we now know that they don’t need this windfall. Local governments actually saw an increase in tax revenue in 2020, thanks to growing property taxes, and they are looking at a bumper tax year in 2021. States should push these cities and counties to return the stimulus money to taxpayers by allowing citizens to vote on any new spending.

The stimulus legislation forbade states to use the money to cut taxes. It was silent on local government tax cuts, but did say those funds should be used for the relief of households and for spurring local economies. Nothing would accomplish these tasks better than cutting property and sales taxes, the two biggest sources of local tax revenue.

Not only is stimulus unnecessary for most local governments, it was distributed nonsensically. The act gave money to counties and small cities based solely on their population and to large cities based on an antiquated formula from the 1970s that benefits bluer cities in the Northeast and Midwest.

To continue reading this story from the Wall Street Journal, please click (HERE):

Sep 07

EDITORIAL: Refunds remind us of TABOR’s wisdom

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The Colorado State Capitol building during the final day of the legislative session on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 in Denver, Colo. (Katie Klann/The Gazette)

It seems like just yesterday to us that Colorado voters adopted the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights on the statewide ballot and ensconced it into the state’s constitution. Yet, the groundbreaking policy has been in effect for nearly three decades.

In that time, it has kept state and local government on a diet — and has saved taxpayers untold millions of dollars. And they still love it after all these years, as most credible polls show.

Perhaps more noteworthy: Even some political leaders on the center-left seem to have made their peace with the policy. Our reputedly liberal Democratic governor from Boulder went so far as to laud it just the other day. That’s quite a stride.

Yet, TABOR’s basic premise has always made perfect sense to the general public. It requires voter approval for any tax hike at any level of government in the state. And it set limits on the rate at which government budgets can grow. Any increase in tax revenue that exceeds the rates of growth plus inflation in a given year have to be returned to taxpayers. Elected leaders can keep the overage if they first ask voters’ permission.

Click (HERE) to continue reading this story about TABOR:

Sep 04

Here’s the income-tax cut and refund payment Coloradans will get because the TABOR cap was exceeded

Here’s the income-tax cut and refund payment Coloradans will get because the TABOR cap was exceeded

According to the state controller, the cap was exceeded in the 2020-21 fiscal year, which ended in June, by about $454 million

12:14 PM MDT on Sep 2, 2021


The Colorado State Capitol is seen on Thursday, August 19, 2021, in Denver. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)

Colorado taxpayers will get a break on their income taxes and a refund payment because the state’s cap on government growth and spending under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights was exceeded last fiscal year.

The income tax rate will drop to 4.5% in 2021, down from 4.55%, and individual taxpayers will get an additional sales tax refund payment, on average, of about $70. Joint filers will receive $166 on average.

“These tax cuts and refunds are a strong sign that Colorado’s economy is roaring back,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a written statement. “I’m excited that Coloradans will get another income tax cut and refund that Coloradans can put toward bouncing back from the pandemic, a night out, or groceries.” Continue reading

Aug 22

Menten: How to weigh in on local TABOR ballot measures

Menten: How to weigh in on local TABOR ballot measures

One great, though lesser-known benefit provided in the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) is the local ballot issue notice. This guide is sent by mail at least 30-days before the election to all households with one or more registered voters.

The TABOR ballot issue notice includes content and details about upcoming local ballot measures which increase taxes, add debt, or suspend government revenue limits. It includes a section where registered electors have the opportunity to submit FOR or AGAINST comments, up to 500 words each.

You should know that there are two types of TABOR ballot issue notices. One notice is for the statewide elections and commonly referred to as the “Blue Book.” The notice discussed here is for elections held by local governments such as a city, town, school district, or special taxing district. You could potentially get more than one of these notices in the mail.

Several years back, it was discovered that out that of some 300 local tax issues throughout the state during a ballot year, only 15 had the taxpayer’s voice printed in a ballot issue notice.  That’s only 5 percent!  You can make a big difference and amplify your voice by being an author of the next ballot issue notice where you live.  Considering that you reach thousands of voters, being able to submit comments in the TABOR notice costs almost nothing and takes relatively little time & energy.

Click (HERE) to continue reading the rest of this story:

Aug 22

El Paso County commissioners to mull placing tax question on November ballot

El Paso County commissioners to mull placing tax question on November ballot

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A man holds his son’s hand while his other child rides in a carrier on his back, adorned in a bear hat, during a Bear Run at Bear Creek Regional Park event in this file photo from November 2019.

El Paso County commissioners will take a closer look this month at a proposed November ballot question that, if voters approve, would use $15 million in excess government revenue to fund road infrastructure projects and deferred parks maintenance county officials say are sorely needed.

Commissioners will discuss the possible ballot question during the board’s regularly scheduled meetings Aug. 17 and 24. Residents can come to these hearings to offer input on the possible question before commissioners vote on whether it will make it onto the November ballot. Commissioners expect to vote on the matter Aug. 24.

Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR, ties increases in most local government revenues to a formula based on population growth and inflation. Excesses can only be used for voter-approved purposes.

To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

Aug 22

Castle Rock looks to voters to ‘de-Bruce’ for 10 years

TABOR pause would pay for road improvements, police and fire personnel

Posted 

In November, the Town of Castle Rock will ask taxpayers to pause TABOR for 10 years. TABOR, known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, was approved in the 1990s, changing the state’s constitution to require all tax increases be approved by voters, limiting how much local and state government can spend.

Castle Rock Town Manager David Corliss said he has no problem with the part of TABOR that requires residents to approve tax increases. However, the restrictions and limits TABOR can put on a municipality to keep up with the cost of growth is a problem, he said.

TABOR is a state tax and expenditure limit that includes the following elements: It is a Colorado constitutional amendment; it restricts revenue or expenditure growth to the sum of inflation plus population change; and it requires voter approval to override the revenue or spending limits.

Colorado is the only state in the nation with TABOR.

Castle Rock Town Attorney Michael Hyman is no stranger to how TABOR has created controversy and issues for state and local municipalities trying to balance a budget. In the 1990s when TABOR was passed by voters, Hyman worked for the City of Aurora.

Click (HERE) to continue reading the rest of this story

Aug 11

Mark Hillman: State Democrats ignore voters’ voices

Mark Hillman: State Democrats ignore voters’ voices

By MARK HILLMAN |

August 11, 2021 at 7:30 a.m.

Gov. Jared Polis and Progressive Democrat majorities at the Ssate Capitol have spent the past three years ignoring clearly-expressed voices of Colorado voters on tax and economic issues. In fact, Progressive Democrats’ disregard for many of the same voters who elected them has become so brazen that they seem to be daring voters to hold them accountable.

With commanding majorities of 41-24 in the House of Representatives and 20-15 in the state Senate, it’s understandable that Democrats are developing a sense of invincibility.

However, it remains to be seen if the Democrats’ recent surge — in 2017, they held a 34-31 margin in the House, while Republicans had an 18-17 majority in the Senate — is due to their own popularity or because Donald Trump irritated many Colorado voters.

In 2018, Colorado voters rejected (59%-40%) a tax increase to raise $700 million a year for highways and transportation. In that same election, voters said “no” (55%-45%) to draconian restrictions on oil and gas development across the state. Polis, campaigning for governor, claimed to oppose those severe oil-and-gas restrictions.

To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

Aug 11

Public invited to comment on TABOR ballot proposal

 

Helen Robinson

El Paso County residents are invited to attend and participate in two meetings during the month of August in which the Board of El Paso County Commissioners will discuss a possible November ballot question to fund road infrastructure projects and deferred parks maintenance. The meetings will be held during the board’s regularly scheduled Tuesday meetings on Aug. 17 and 24.

Commissioners will refund $7.1 million in excess 2020 revenues to taxpayers regardless of how the question under review moves forward, according to a county-issued news release.

“The 2020 refund is important to ensure full community recovery from COVID-19,” the release said. “Without raising taxes, the proposed ballot question would enable the county to address around $15 million of backlogged road and parks projects by allowing the county to retain funds collected in 2021 above the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) cap. The proposal would restrict the $15 million of the revenue for specific road infrastructure and parks projects, reset the cap to reflect 2021 revenue.”

“We want to hear from our citizens as we weigh the possibility of adding a TABOR question to the November ballot,” Stan VanderWerf, chairman of the board of county commissioners, said in the release. “Our Department of Public Works estimates we have hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance road needs in our county. This is one option to address the problem, but our citizens are smart and informed. We need to hear from them to see what ideas they have.”

Click (HERE) to continue reading this story:

Aug 11

Submitting FOR or AGAINST statements in your local TABOR ballot issue notice

 Submitting FOR or AGAINST statements in your local TABOR ballot issue notice

One great though lesser-known benefit provided in the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) is the local ballot issue notice. This guide is sent by mail at least 30-days before the election to all households with one or more registered voters.

The TABOR ballot issue notice includes content and details about upcoming ballot issues which increase taxes, add debt, or suspend government revenue limits. It includes a section where registered electors have the opportunity to submit FOR or AGAINST comments, up to 500 words each.

You should know that there are two types of TABOR ballot issue notices. One notice is for the statewide elections and commonly referred to as the “Blue Book.” The other notice is for elections held by local governments such as a town, school district, or special district. You could potentially get more than one of these in the mail.

Several years back, Dennis Polhill challenged the Colorado Union of Taxpayers by pointing out that of some 300 tax issues statewide during a ballot year, only 15 had the taxpayer’s voice printed in a ballot issue notice.  That’s only 5 percent!  You can make a big difference and amplify your voice by being an author of the next ballot issue notice submittal.  May we count on you please to participate?    Considering that you reach thousands of voters, being able to submit comments in the TABOR notice costs almost nothing and takes relatively little time & energy.

Continue reading