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

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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.

Jun 03

Lawmakers looking at end run around ballot question on property tax cut

A bill proposed in the waning days of the General Assembly would rewrite how property taxes are classified, but more directly could work around a question about lowering property taxes on the November ballot.

Colorado Politics obtained a draft of the bill to be introduced late Wednesday by Sen. Chris Hansen, a Denver Democrat, and Sen. Bob Rankin, a Carbondale Republican, to turn the two property tax classifications, commercial and residential, into five or perhaps six divisions.

In the House, the bill’s prime sponsor is Majority Leader Daneya Esgar of Pueblo.

To read the rest of this story, please click (HERE):

 

Jun 03

Interrogatory On House Bill 21-1164 TABOR Public School Finance Act

On May 24, 2021, the Colorado Supreme Court continued its crusade against the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. It allowed the General Assembly, yet again, to maneuver around TABOR’s constitutional restrictions and effectively raise taxes without getting the required voter approval. The procedure used by the General Assembly was the unusual one of submitting Interrogatories to the Supreme Court, which ask whether their proposed scheme is allowed, prior to passing the law.

At issue were the mill levy rates in 174 separate school districts. The voters in all of these districts had, with varying language and circumstances, voted to exempt their districts from the necessity of returning excess revenues to their taxpayers.  The districts were then impacted by the Colorado Department of Education’s determination that, in order to prevent revenues from increasing, they had to lower their mill levies as property values increased, and therefore, property tax revenues increased.

The legislature proposed, and now has passed, a complex plan to eliminate tax credits, which it created just last year, gradually over the course of the next 19 years. Of course, the State imposition of higher mill levies and its elimination of tax credits will raise taxes. Given the increase in Colorado property values, the increases will be significant.

The TABOR Foundation, filed a friend of the court (“amicus”) brief, written by attorney Rebecca Sopkin.  The TABOR Foundation’s participation gave you a voice in this matter.  The filing protested this clear evasion of the requirement that voters approve any increases in their taxes.

Justice Brian Boatwright, in a well written dissent, pointed out that taxpayers “will see an increase in their mill levy rates as a result of” the proposed legislation, HB1164. He then noted that “[t]he voters today did not approve of this, and neither did the voters in the late 1990s.”  The court majority, however, disregarded the obvious impact of this legislation and gave its tax increases the green light.

Colorad Supreme Cout Opinion by The Forum on Scribd

May 21

Colorado Democrats want to use one of TABOR’s most effective tax-halting mechanisms for themselves

House Bill 1321 comes as progressives have all but given up on doing away with TABOR, the 1992 constitutional amendment that has served as a third rail in Colorado politics ever since its passage

One of the most effective parts of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights when it comes to stopping tax-raising ballot questions in Colorado is a requirement that voters be informed, IN CAPITAL LETTERS, about the eye-popping sum they are deciding whether to allow the government to collect.

“SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED $766,700,000 ANNUALLY FOR A TWENTY-YEAR PERIOD?” Proposition 110, which was focused on raising money for transportation projects, scream-asked voters in 2018. (It failed.)

Now, Democrats are trying to adapt that potent TABOR transparency tool for their own purposes.

House Bill 1321, a measure introduced at the Capitol this week, would require voters to be informed of which programs would be affected by ballot questions decreasing taxes.

The legislation would require the following language be attached to tax-reducing ballot measures: “Shall funding available for state services that include, but are not limited to, (the three largest areas of program expenditures) be impacted by a reduction of (projected dollar figure of revenue reduction to the state in the first full fiscal year that the measure reduces revenue) in tax revenue…?”

The bill would also mandate that ballots containing tax questions highlight how many people in which tax brackets would be most affected by tax hikes or decreases, and require that ballot titles for tax increases state that the aim is to “increase or improve levels of public services” and then list those services.

“It’s an attempt to provide more information and level the playing field,” said Carol Hedges, who leads the liberal-leaning Colorado Fiscal Institute, which supports the measure. “Currently, the all-caps language focuses people’s attention only on the size of state government. We know that the size of state government is not the only factor people should be considering.”

Scott Wasserman, who leads the Bell Policy Center, a liberal advocacy organization, called the measure “a great idea” that seeks to offset what he sees as the manipulative aspects of TABOR.

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

 

May 15

Colorado lawmakers introduce bills to overhaul state tax code

PROMO Government - Taxes Money Calculator Word Blocks - iStock - LIgorko
Published Friday, May 14, 2021
by Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) — Colorado lawmakers introduced a pair of bills this week that seek to overhaul the state’s tax code.

House Bill 21-1311 would revise corporate tax reporting standards, limit itemized deductions, and restrict contributions to tax-savings accounts to subsidize increases to the earned income tax credit and the state’s child tax credit.

House Bill 21-1312 would update several provisions of the state’s property tax code and also initiate a phasing-out of tax credits and exemptions for the coal industry.

Both bills are sponsored by a Democrat coalition of Sens. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, and Reps. Emily Sirota, D-Denver, and Mike Weissman, D-Aurora.

Supporters of the bills say they do three important things: increase tax fairness, close loopholes for the wealthy, and modernize the tax code.

Scott Wasserman, president of the Bell Policy Center (BPC), a left-leaning think tank, described the bills as “important” for the structural integrity of the state budget going forward.

“Politicians always talk about cleaning up the tax code, but this is one of the first attempts to really do it,” he said. “We have a structural budgetary deficit in this state. When is it going to be the right time to address it?”

To read the rest of this story, please click (HERE):

May 15

Penn Pfiffner – TABOR in the Courts (Taxpayers Bill of Rights) March 23, 2015

There has been a major battle brewing in Colorado over the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, so we brought in one of the leading authorities on the subject, Mr. Penn Pfiffner, to talk about it. After a short refresher on the form and function of TABOR (https://youtu.be/GBZOJCsuFwA), Penn discusses the current legal attacks and the defenses being offered.

Understanding TABOR is as easy as it is crucial, so load up on some intellectual ammunition so you can defend your rights as taxpayers when speaking with friends and colleagues who may be unwittingly trying to take them away.

Penn Pfiffner was an early leader and proponent of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and served as Regional Coordinator in the 1986 effort. He served on the TABOR Committee in subsequent years and is the current Chair. He led the opposition campaigns to the anti-TABOR Amendment 59 in 2008 and the tax increase proposal, Proposition 103.

Penn earned a Masters in Finance from CU-Denver. He taught college Economics part-time for thirteen years, at both graduate and undergraduate levels. He has a financial and managerial consulting practice, Construction Economics, LLC. Penn and Karen are the parents of three adult children. He is a veteran, having served as an officer in the Navy.

May 15

Movement on Kerr vs. Polis Lawsuit

During this past week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals held Oral Argument on May 10, 2021.  The case is in the appellate phase after the District Judge found that the Plaintiffs do not have standing.

For more background and details on the case, go to our web file.  The latest action of your TABOR Foundation was to join a friend-of-the-court legal argument.