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. Continue reading
Editor’s note. Here are Douglas Bruce’s comments about this article. They have been edited for space and clarity.
A reporter writes about TABOR (Taxpayers Bill Of Rights) and won’t interview its author.
TABOR does NOT use the “national inflation” rate, but the only Colorado CPI figures, which are for Denver-Boulder-Greeley.
Rep. Dan Thurlow says TABOR makes politicians “cheat” and thinks a statute (Referendum C) can amend a constitutional formula. That is incorrect.
Colorado State University political science professor John Straayer doesn’t understand the state can still spend money any way it wants; it just can’t take a bigger share without voter approval. That is the major change to its “fiscal authority.”
Money for transportation and higher education has NOT “eroded.” It just has not increased at Straayers’ desired rate, and the sources of funding have changed so that user pay is a preferable source.
Referendum C was supposed to “solve the problem” of revenue control, and end in five years. It did not solve the fictional “ratchet effect” problem and, twelve years later, we are losing $1 BILLION yearly in excess revenue refunds. The anti-TABOR sides’ solution is to try another statutory change to the constitutional formula.
The state publicly says its total spending is about $27.1 billion yearly, almost three times what it was when TABOR passed.
I just found out that amount does not as it includes “continuing appropriations” NOT made by the JBC (Joint Budget Committee) annually.
That’s another two or three BILLION or more than the Colorado budget shows.
Colorado lawmakers turn to ‘fees’ to avoid Taxpayer Bill of Rights limits
By Michael Carroll / September 11, 2017
Colorado state lawmakers increasingly engage in fiscal gymnastics to get around provisions of the state’s landmark Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), according to both supporters and critics of the state’s 25-year-old constitutional amendment. Continue reading
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Contact: Marty Neilson 303-747-2159
Governor Calls Special Session to Fix Legislative/Executive Goof UP!
If SB 267 wasn’t already enough of an affront to Colorado taxpayers, paying for a special legislative session to fix what our esteemed legislators and Governor failed to notice in the unconstitutional SB267 makes me “mad as hell” and “I don’t want to take it anymore!” Special sessions are expensive! SB 267 starts off as unconstitutional (multiple subjects) piece of legislation; and, is an egregious violation of Taxpayers Bill of Rights (no vote by the people) for the tax and debt increases. Mess ups like this do not constitute an immediate problem which must be addressed by immediate corrective legislation. Governor expects legislature to ignore the constitution and simply tack on another illegal tax.
By the way, reinstating a sales tax requires a VOTE of the people. The Colorado Constitution is very clear: tax increases must be approved by a vote of the people. Calling on all Colorado taxpayers to go to the Capitol and demand “Let Us Vote!”
PO Box 1976, Lyons CO 80540 Taxpayer Hotline 303-494-2400
Web Site: www.coloradotaxpayer.org
Michael Fields of Americans For Prosperity vs HD-31 Joe Salazar (running for Colorado Attorney General)
By Michael Carroll / September 11, 2017
Colorado state lawmakers increasingly engage in fiscal gymnastics to get around provisions of the state’s landmark Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), according to both supporters and critics of the state’s 25-year-old constitutional amendment.
Approved by voters in 1992, the TABOR amendment mandates that state and local governments get voter approval for specified tax increases, and it limits the rate of government spending growth based on population increases and inflation.
Though a subsequent voter-approved measure eased the spending cap, critics like Jon Caldara, president of the Denver-based Independence Institute, say the legislature has turned to “dark money,” such as newly designated “fees” that don’t require votes of the people, to avoid TABOR’s restrictions. Colorado courts have tended to uphold those TABOR workarounds.
In a blog post, Caldara pointed to efforts to create a hospital provider fee as one of the ways lawmakers evade the spirit of the amendment and avoid difficult budget decisions. The bill exempting the hospital fee from the TABOR spending cap was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in May.
Caldara credits TABOR with helping the state avoid economic pain. When the nation went into a recession in 2002, other states saw huge drops in revenues that caused massive budget shortfalls, but that didn’t happen in Colorado, he said.
Other observers, however, say TABOR has made Colorado nearly impossible to govern.
“From my perspective, it’s an unmitigated disaster,” Colorado State University political science professor John Straayer told Watchdog.org. “It’s stripped the legislature of its fiscal authority.” Continue reading
The fate of a November ballot question that could lead to Fort Collins providing high-speed internet services is in the hands of Larimer County District Court judge.
Fort Collins resident Eric Sutherland and attorneys representing the city squared off in court Friday morning to argue about whether the content and form of the broadband ballot question meet legal requirements.
District Court Judge Thomas French has until Tuesday to decide whether to change the ballot language approved by City Council or let it stand.
The city’s deadline for certifying the ballot language to the Larimer County Clerk’s Office is Sept. 8. The county is coordinating the Nov. 7 election.
Sutherland raised five complaints about the ballot language, ranging from the lack of a comma, which he said made the question grammatically incorrect, to whether it complies with the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, or TABOR, amendment to the state constitution.
If approved, the measure would amend the City Charter to allow but not require the City Council to establish a telecommunications utility. The utility would be a standalone entity or part of the city’s Light and Power Utility.
It’s your money.
TABOR allows you a vote to let the government keep it or if you would rather have it in your pocket.
El Paso County TABOR initiative could jumpstart local funding for I-25 widening
Posted: Aug 29, 2017 8:42 PM EDTUpdated: Aug 29, 2017 8:43 PM EDT
TABOR Committee featured at national ALEC conference in Denver
Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) was in demand at the 44th Annual American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting held at the Hyatt Convention Center in Denver at the end of July. The TABOR Committee board of directors and friends presented the case (in a three hour workshop session) showing other states how to adopt measures similar to TABOR. TABOR Committee Chairman Penn Pfiffner also addressed approximately 60 legislators and staff at a special session on July 28th concerning the importance of TABOR-like efforts in their own states.
TABOR is a Colorado constitution protection (approved by the voters of Colorado in 1992) that restrains tax increases to not greater than the sum of population growth and the rate of inflation without a vote of the people. It is the gold standard for all 50 states regarding sound fiscal responsibility. It protects the citizen’s right to be heard on tax increases that otherwise would not be subject to voter approval. It was because of TABOR that Colorado voters had the opportunity to recently reject two very large tax increases in Colorado. Amendment 66, a $1 billion tax increase proposal in 2013, and Amendment 69, a $25 billion tax increase proposal in 2016, were both soundly defeated at the ballot box by more than 60% of Colorado voters. TABOR made those votes possible.
The American Legislative Exchange Council is a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives who draft and share model state-level legislation for distribution among state governments in the United States. ALEC provides a forum for state legislators and private sector members to collaborate on model bills—draft legislation that members may customize and introduce for debate in their own state legislatures. The ALEC annual meeting included keynote presentations by former US Speaker Newt Gingrich, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Colorado Congressman Ken Buck, Kentucky Governor Matthew Bevin, and other national leaders.
Please visit www.thetaborfoundation.org to learn more about TABOR and how you can help protect Colorado voter’s right to be heard.