Nov 29

Appendix E: TABOR, Article X, Section 20, Colorado Constitution

Article X, Section 20. The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
(1) General provisions. This section takes effect December 31, 1992 or as stated. Its preferred interpretation shall reasonably restrain most the growth of government. All provisions are self-executing and severable and supersede conflicting state constitutional, state statutory, charter, or other state or local provisions. Other limits on district revenue, spending, and debt may be weakened only by future voter approval. Individual or class action enforcement suits may be filed and shall have the highest civil priority of resolution. Successful plaintiffs are allowed costs and reasonable attorney fees, but a district is not unless a suit against it be ruled frivolous. Revenue collected, kept, or spent illegally since four full fiscal years before a suit is filed shall be refunded with 10% annual simple interest from the initial conduct. Subject to judicial review, districts may use any reasonable method for refunds under this section, including temporary tax credits or rate reductions. Refunds need not be proportional when prior payments are impractical to identify or return. When annual district revenue is less than annual payments on general obligation bonds, pensions, and final court judgments, (4) (a) and (7) shall be suspended to provide for the deficiency.

(2) Term definitions. Within this section: (a) “Ballot issue” means a non-recall petition or referred measure in an election.

(b) “District” means the state or any local government, excluding enterprises. Continue reading

Nov 29

Budget, elections reforms suggested to improve Colorado

Budget, elections reforms suggested to improve Colorado

Coalition looks at conflicts from TABOR

By Peter Marcus Herald staff writer

Article Last Updated: Saturday, November 28, 2015 6:02pm

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Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Building a Better Colorado coalition is seeking to address the ease with which Colorado’s constitution is amended, decreased participation in elections systems and an “imbalance” between citizens’ expectations of government services and the ability to meet desires.

DENVER – A coalition aimed at examining reforms to budget and elections processes in Colorado identified restructuring a hospital fee and strengthening rules governing citizens initiatives as solutions to ease conflicts and challenges facing the state.

The Building a Better Colorado coalition – comprised largely of civic and business leaders – sought to address the ease with which Colorado’s constitution is amended, decreased participation in elections systems and an “imbalance” between citizens’ expectations of government services and the ability to meet desires.

The recommendations could be placed before voters to decide next year.

Critics have labeled the coalition another statewide tour to gather support to raise taxes by eliminating protections under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR. Continue reading

Nov 21

Letter: TABOR isn’t hurting Colo. economy ‘at all’

Letter: TABOR isn’t hurting Colo. economy ‘at all’

Quin Roberts 2:31 p.m. MST November 20, 2015

Quinn for TABOR

(Photo: Courtesy photo)

Dick Heyman on Nov. 12 wrote that “We need to repeal the TABOR amendment completely,” because voters should not be allowed to interfere with “efficient government.”

Colorado’s TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) requires that tax increases and spending growth greater than the increase in population, plus inflation, be authorized by a vote of the people. It places no absolute limits on tax and spending increases. It simply makes our government get our permission to exceed the limit.

Mr. Heyman calls this requirement “stupid.” He is a reactionary and believes that TABOR creates an excess of democracy. Continue reading

Nov 17

A heads up on Saturday’s annual TABOR meeting

The TABOR Board meetings are a go!  Drive safe and we hope to see you there.

Some weather forecasts are predicting snow and difficult travel conditions for this upcoming weekend.

In the event that we have nasty weather on Saturday, November 21st and decide to postpone the TABOR board meetings, please check the website (http://thetaborfoundation.org/) to find out.

We’ll keep you posted as we don’t want people trekking to the Independence Institute, 727 E 16th Ave, Denver, CO 80203 if we decide to reschedule.

TABOR on!

Your TABOR Board of Directors

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Nov 11

Under the Dome: Tough budget work about to begin

bob rankin

Rep. Bob Rankin

After a week of great fall weather, it was snowing hard at my house the last two mornings. Summer was way too short. Joyce and I go back to Denver this week and start activity that will be nonstop through next May. But we’re not complaining. It’s an honor to represent Northwest Colorado in the Legislature, and we look forward to what’s coming.

The six-person Joint Budget Committee (JBC), of which I’m a member, starts hearings Thursday. We’ll be grinding through the performance measures, organization and budgets of 22 state government departments. Our wonderful nonpartisan staff members spend all year analyzing every aspect of all the departments in detail and then, in their first presentation, shovels it to us in a few hours. They seem to have a sincere belief that we can absorb so much information and data. The committee asks a lot of questions, and the department comes back another day and answers our questions. We put together a balanced budget by March and present it to both houses of the Legislature.

The JBC starts with a budget recommendation from the governor that is synthesized from department inputs and revenue forecasts. This year looks to be problematic, and I expect a tumultuous process to get to our March budget. To start with, the forecasts (they will change twice before March) indicate a $160 million shortfall for the current fiscal year that ends in July. The recommendation is that we take this sum from our 6.5 percent reserve and replace the reserve next year. Continue reading