How about learning more on a subject that saves you money and stops the explosive growth of government spending?
You’ve heard of TABOR (The Taxpayers Bill Of Rights), haven’t you?
It’s been in the news quite a bit lately.
Why not use the TABOR Speakers Bureau for your next meeting?
We take the time to explain “what” TABOR is along with what it does—or doesn’t do, “how” it works, “why” it’s so important to Colorado, “when” Coloradans get TABOR refunds, and “how” it impacts you.
TABOR is an incredibly successful and common sense approach to limiting government growth. Because of TABOR’s provisions, more than $3 billion has been refunded to Colorado taxpayers since its enactment in 1992.
To schedule a TABOR speaker, call The TABOR Committee at 303-747-7460 and/or email us at info@TheTABORCommittee.com
In fact, we’d love to keep you informed about TABOR by joining our distribution list. It’s easy. Just send an email to info@TheTABORCommittee.com with “subscribe” in the subject line.
To learn about the history of TABOR and for current news, check out our website, http://thetaborfoundation.org/
We also have a Facebook Group Page (https://www.facebook.com/coloradoTABOR/) to keep you in the loop. Please check it out, “Like” it, and share it with others.
If you’d like to make a donation to help defray the cost of defending TABOR, please mail your check to either The TABOR Committee (political issues) or The TABOR Foundation ((501(C)-3) Education & Research), 720 Kipling Street, suite #12, Lakewood, CO, 80215-7460
Thank you from The TABOR Committee and The TABOR Foundation Board of Directors!
Bob, Penn, Peg, Jack, Brad, Don, Brian, Dennis, & Dana
Seeing is believing. So, it’s no wonder many in government prefer to work in the dark.
It’s not just that they don’t want us to know what they’re fully doing. They don’t want us to know what we’re fully paying. The reason for this emotional manipulation is clear. If the cost of government is hidden into the cost of our daily lives, we feel like we’re not paying as much as we really are.
As the state legislative session gears up our governor will try to get you to feel you’re not paying a massive tax called the Hospital Provider Fee. He, in concert with everyone who wants to increase taxes in every conceivable way except actually asking voters first, will pressure the legislature, via the new senate president, to embrace this dark money ploy.
This is nothing new. Colorado is chalk full of schemes to turn your tax money dark.
One of the biggest emotional manipulations is employee withholdings. Why in the world is it our employer’s job to collect our taxes? Imagine how you’d feel about your money going to government if you had to write out a check every month along with your other bills. And you think you gripe about your cable bill?
The Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), also known as Initiative 1, was on the November 3, 1992 ballot in Colorado as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The famed measure, thought up by Douglas Bruce, requires statewide voter approval of tax increases that exceed an index created by combining inflation and population increases.
Text of measure
See also: Colorado State Constitution, Article X
The language appeared on the ballot as:
|“||Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution to require voter approval for certain state and local government tax revenue increases and debt; to restrict property, income, and other taxes; to limit the rate of increase in state and local government spending; to allow additional initiative and referendum elections; and to provide for the mailing of information to registered voters?||”|
Kerr v. Hickenlooper
See also: Kerr v. Hickenlooper
A lawsuit regarding Initiative 1 will likely have far reaching effects for other TABOR laws around the country and direct democracy, in general. A lawsuit was filed with U.S. District Court in Denver, with plaintiffs arguing that the amendment is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed during the week of May 27, 2011, by 34 bipartisan plaintiffs, according to reports.
According to Doug Bruce, author of the citizen initiative, if the lawsuit is successful in its efforts, it could allow lawmakers unlimited power, and could be extremely detrimental to citizen initiative efforts in the state of Colorado. Bruce stated: “This isn’t only attacking Colorado. The consequences of a ruling in their favor would invalidate the Constitution in all 50 states, and would also mean no limits on the federal government. We would have anarchy.”
However, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, David Skaggs, stated that the measure limits state legislators and conflicts with both the state and United States constitutions. Skaggs also argues that other initiatives have been overturned, but that it did not negatively affect the process. Skaggs commented: “Courts won’t reach beyond the narrow question presented. Yes, we got to this issue by initiative”, but the lawsuit targets TABOR and not citizens’ initiatives.
The case’s impact expanded significantly due to the consideration of a Guarantee Clause argument. In 2012, Colorado District Court Judge William J. Martínez ruled in favor of allowing the case to proceed. However, Martínez’s ruling noted the history of seeing the Guarantee Clause as not justiciable or capable of judicial resolution, and said, “the Court determines that it cannot summarily conclude that Plaintiffs’ Guarantee Clause claim is per se non-justiciable”
The defense appealed the decision to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. In March 2014, the court ruled that the case was justiciable. The court further denied a petition for rehearing en banc in July 2014. Some consider the case likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
CUT Membership Event
Legislative Session Kickoff and Award Recognition
Award Winners: Senate Champion Vicki Marble
House Champions Janak Joshi and Lori Saine
Senate Guardian Jerry Sonnenberg
House Guardian Stephen Humphrey
Guest Speakers: Senate President Kevin Grantham, House Assistant Minority Leader Cole Wist
Where: Independence Institute Freedom Embassy
727 16th Ave. Denver, CO (Free Parking)
When: Thursday, January 19, 2017 Registration: 7:00am
Cost is $15.00. $5.00for those paying 2017 CUT membership
Breakfast treats by Chick-fil-A
RSVP: 303-747-2159 or email@example.com
PO Box 1976, Lyons CO 80540 Taxpayer Hotline 303-494-2400
Web Site: www.coloradotaxpayer.org
POSTED BY PAM ZUBECK ON THU, DEC 29, 2016 AT 1:00 PM
Next month, Mayor John Suthers plans to ask City Council to place a measure on the April 4 city election ballot seeking voter approval to let the city keep excess revenue.
Suthers says he wants the roughly $7 million collected in 2016 above caps imposed by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to be spent on flood control. The measure would also ask voter approval to allow the city to keep excess revenue collected in 2017 for the same purpose. That estimated dollar figure hasn’t been disclosed publicly.
Seems like a no-brainer, given the city’s enormous backlog of stormwater projects, but at least one city councilor isn’t capitulating automatically.
If a person wants to build a single-family home within the Pagosa Springs town limits, he or she must pay $3,342 in Town “impact fees.” That money is purportedly earmarked for the “impacts” that the new residents — who will occupy this new house — will have on roads, recreation facilities, public buildings, parks, trails, emergency services and schools. (Assuming that the people who will occupy this new house haven’t already lived in Pagosa for maybe 25 years.)
The justification typically offered for such fees, is: “growth must pay for growth.”
We are working, here, under the assumption that there is a difference between a “tax” and a “fee.” The Colorado Constitution specifically requires voter approval for tax increases, and for the creation of a new tax — but no such voter approval is required for fee increases, or for the creation of a new fee.
Obviously, the difference is of some significance, here in Colorado.
A recent Colorado lawsuit can help us understand how one particular panel of judges defined the difference between a “tax” and a “fee.”
In 2009, during a particularly difficult period in the financial life of the Colorado state government, the state legislature created a new government agency called the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE). The agency began charging a new “fee” as part of your vehicle registration fee; the money was (purportedly) to be used for repairing state-maintained bridges. The state did not seek voter approval for the new surcharge.
In 2012, the TABOR Foundation filed a lawsuit against the state, arguing that the “fee” was in fact a “tax” — and was thus prohibited by the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) unless approved by the state’s voters. During the deliberations, the Colorado Court of Appeals disagreed with one of the TABOR Foundation’s arguments: that the surcharge is a “tax” because it is collected without regard to any services used by the vehicles for which the charge is imposed.
The court laid out three factors that it weighed in determining whether a surcharge is a tax or a fee:
Suthers gets no push back on TABOR measure
POSTED BY PAM ZUBECK ON TUE, DEC 13, 2016 AT 1:51 PM
- COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
- Camp Creek erosion is one reason the city needs money for drainage projects.
It’s looking like a “go” for an April 4 city election ballot measure seeking voter approval to lift the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights revenue cap for 2016 and 2017 to fund stormwater projects.
Mayor John Suthers asked City Council today to place the measure on the ballot, noting the 2016 figure could be $7 million or more. If refunded, which typically is achieved through utility bills, the refund would total about $36 per household, Suthers said.
As previously reported by the Independent, Suthers wants to use the excess revenue to beef up the city’s work on drainage control, given a Nov. 9 lawsuit against the city filed by the federal government, which noted longstanding violations of the Clean Water Act.
City Council will vote in late January on referring such a measure to voters, at which time Suthers promised to provide a more precise revenue figure. He received no push back at today’s meeting.
In other business, Councilor Bill Murray asked colleagues to place a measure on the ballot that would open the door for the city to partner with companies to provide broadband internet service. That measure is to be voted on later today.
- COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
- Camp Creek’s erosion is one example of drainage needs.
Mayor John Suthers says he’ll ask City Council to refer a question to the April 4 city election ballot seeking to retain excess revenue collected in 2016 and 2017 that’s subject to limits imposed by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
But that sum totaling several million dollars, which would be funneled to stormwater needs, is only a short-term fix for the city’s burgeoning drainage needs, Suthers says via email.
“Colorado Springs needs a dedicated revenue stream to fund its stormwater program,” he says. “To proceed without one over a significant period of time would put too much pressure on the general fund to the detriment of public safety and other priorities.”
Discussion among Council members is swirling around the idea of simply imposing a fee or taking a measure to voters. But a stormwater-fee measure won’t be on the April ballot, according to Council President Merv Bennett, and not on the November ballot either.
And there seems to be little appetite for a fee from several other council members consulted for this story.