Jul 24

TABOR Update on July 29th

Join Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Penn Pfiffner, former State Representative and TABOR Foundation Chairman, for an evening of informative discussion on our Colorado Economy and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

A light dinner and beverages will be served.

Pfiffner was a a proponent of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) served on TABOR Committee and taught Economics at college, graduate, and undergraduate levels for 13 years.

TABOR is an incredibly successful and commonsense 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.

Americans for Prosperity Foundation – Colorado
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (MDT)
Centennial, CO
South Metro Fire Rescue Authority
9195 E Mineral Ave
Centennial, CO 80112
(downstairs meeting room)

AFP logo

Jul 13

Nederland’s bag tax disguised as a ‘fee’ violates TABOR

Nederland’s bag tax disguised as a ‘fee’ violates TABOR

Nederland recently became the latest local government to enact a new tax in violation of the Colorado Constitution by disingenuously calling it a fee.

The town’s board of trustees in May passed an ordinance imposing a 10-cent charge on paper and plastic disposable bags used to carry purchases at point of sale at “any public commercial business engaged in the sale of personal consumer goods, household items, or groceries to customers who use or consume such items.”

icon_op_edProponents call this bag charge a fee. But with even a little scrutiny, the ordinance is obviously a tax rather than a fee. The difference between the two is hugely significant. Fees can be passed by elected representatives, while under Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), new taxes must be approved by voters through the ballot.

Here’s what the Clorado Supreme Court had to say about the difference between a fee and a tax in the 2008 case Barber v. Ritter:

If the language discloses that the primary purpose for the charge is to finance a particular service utilized by those who must pay the charge, then the charge is a “fee.” On the other hand, if the language states that a primary purpose for the charge is to raise revenues for general governmental spending, then it is a tax.

The drafters of the ordinance were careful to include that “No disposable bag fees collected in accordance with this chapter shall be used only for general municipal or governmental purposes or spending.”

This apparently is Nederland’s clumsy justification, based on at least one part of the Supreme Court’s definition, that the bag charge isn’t a tax.


Continue reading

Jul 11

Blake: One TABOR loss could mean another TABOR victory

Blake: One TABOR loss could mean another TABOR victory

July 10, 2015 9:00 PM· By Peter Blake

Photo and copyright: Tony’s Takes


The courts keep knocking down TABOR-based lawsuits, but the tax law’s defenders keep coming back for more punishment.

Maybe they’ll win one someday. Hope can be found in a recent ruling in the TABOR Foundation’s lawsuit filed against the Colorado Bridge Enterprise in 2012, even though the foundation lost.

The CBE was established in 2009 by the General Assembly’s so-called “FASTER” Act as a “government-owned business” within the Colorado Department of Transportation. The additional bridge repairs were to be funded by increases averaging $41 in auto registration fees and much higher penalties for late payment.

The TABOR Foundation claimed they weren’t fees but taxes that voters weren’t given the opportunity to approve. What’s more, it said that the CBE didn’t qualify as a TABOR-exempt enterprise because it received more than 10 percent of its revenue from state grants.

The plaintiffs lost at the trial court, lost at the Colorado Court of Appeals and, the other day, the Colorado Supreme Court decided it wouldn’t even deign to review the case. Continue reading

Jul 10

MSLF speaks about TABOR on Friday, July 17th

Democrats want to get rid of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
How does TABOR protect your personal and business interests?
Is there a legal difference between a “tax” and a “fee”?
What difference does it make to your bottom line?

William Perry Pendley is president of Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), which defends constitutional liberties and the rule of law. His book, Sagebrush Rebel, Reagan’s Battle with Environmental Extremists and Why It Matters Today continues to draw rave reviews.

MSLF filed four lawsuits in defense of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). One was rejected by the Colorado Supreme Court, but two remain alive, and another was filed just days ago. Two of the cases ask the Supreme Court of Colorado to rule on whether the words “tax” and “fee” have legal meanings, or can they be used interchangeably to collect revenue without the consent of voters?
You need not be a member to attend. Lunch is $25 for non-members, $20 for members and $10 for students. A portion of the lunch fee goes toward the CRBC Small Donor Committee or the CRBC Political Committee to support Republican candidates in the 2016 elections.

RSVP@smallbizgop.com (not required, but appreciated).
Colorado Republican Business Coalition Monthly Luncheon
Friday, July 17 from 11:30am – 1pm
Brooklyn’s at the Pepsi Center
941 Auraria Parkway, Denver


Jul 04

Guest Commentary: Supreme Court’s order great for TABOR

By Rob Natelson

Posted:   07/03/2015 

Activist Douglas Bruce, author of TABOR and a constant proponent for cutting taxes, explained his latest proposal for cutting taxes to reporters and

Activist Douglas Bruce, author of TABOR and a constant proponent for cutting taxes, explained his latest proposal for cutting taxes to reporters and journalists at the state Capitol in November 1999. (Denver Post file photo)


The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent order in the case against Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) is a devastating blow to those seeking to overturn that part of the state constitution. The Supreme Court’s order amounts to a polite directive to the lower court to dismiss the suit.

Colorado voters approved TABOR in 1992. It offers several protections for Colorado’s financial health. It allows voter review when legislative bodies pass increases in taxes or debt, or adopt unusually high increases in spending. Under TABOR, the state legislature and local councils continue to initiate all financial measures, but the people are allowed to review some of them.

Four years ago, 34 plaintiffs, including a handful of state lawmakers, sued in federal court to have TABOR declared void. They argued that allowing the people to` check the legislature’s financial powers violated the Guarantee Clause of the U.S. Constitution. That’s the section that says that “the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”

To read the rest of this article, click the following link:


Jul 03

Penn Pfiffner Discusses TABOR on Saturday, July 11th

Saturday, July 11th, Penn Pfiffner of The TABOR Foundation discusses what TABOR is, how it works, and why Colorado is unique because of it to the North Suburban Republican Forum (NSRF).

Admission is $3 for NSRF members and $5 for non-members.

Coffee, bottled water, orange juice, fruit, and pastries is included.

They meet at Horan & McConaty’s Community Room, 9998 Grant St in Thornton from 9:00am-11:00am. Doors open at 8:30am.

Horan & McConaty google map

Jul 01

Supreme Court sends TABOR lawsuit back to appeals court

Supreme Court sends TABOR lawsuit back to appeals court

Arizona redistricting case to play role

(Denver Post file)

WASHINGTON — A years-long battle over a Colorado tax law went into another period of overtime on Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court sent the fight back to a lower court.

In the short-term, the decision means Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR, is in little danger of going away.

But the law’s long-term prospects are less clear, as is its strict requirement that Colorado officials get permission from state voters whenever they want to raise taxes.

The Supreme Court “sort of kicked the can down the road” when it returned the case to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, said Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, one of several outside groups that filed briefs last year in support of TABOR.

To read the rest of this article, click the following link: