A bill that would ask voters to let Colorado keep more tax revenue — with a third of the money going toward schools — moved forward Monday, even as backers stressed that it is not a “cure-all” for the state’s broader fiscal challenges.
That uncertainty has education advocates watching nervously even though the proposed budget includes a major policy win: an $185 million set-aside to fully fund kindergarten starting this fall. If lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis do put a lot more money into transportation, other K-12 programs could feel a pinch.
The legislature has a $33B budget and a $1.4B surplus this year. That’s more than enough money. Voters have rejected tax hike after tax hike on the ballot. This will be no different.
Opinion: TABOR has united Coloradans
PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2019 5:00AM MDT
Special to The Colorado Sun
In a growing partisan culture, there’s still something Coloradans ranging the political spectrum can agree on: the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).
In recent public polling, when given the simple, unbiased definition, 71 percent of registered voters in Colorado support TABOR, while only 28 percent oppose the law.
What’s the secret to this overwhelming popularity? First, Coloradans love being able to vote on tax increases. It’s simple: the government has to make the case to voters in order to get more of their hard-earned money.
Second, TABOR provides guardrails for the size of government. The state budget still grows every year, but the growth is limited. TABOR keeps the government truly serving the people.
Over the past several years, voters have sent a message to state lawmakers by voting down the last six statewide tax increases on the ballot — most by huge margins.
But this hasn’t stopped lawmakers and progressive special interest groups from developing workarounds in the form of fees, enterprises, and lawsuits to allow the state to spend more taxpayer money. Continue reading
TABOR Committee members,
The TABOR Committee benefits from having two attorneys staying on top of a new threat to TABOR. One of our Board members, Rebecca Sopkin, and our corporate attorney, Bill Banta, have been watching the developments of a proposed measure that would repeal TABOR in its entirety. The initiated ballot issue would have to collect signatures first before going on this fall’s ballot. The first Title-Setting Board hearing rejected the proposal because it violated the single-subject requirement. After all, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights deals, among other things, with taxing limits on all levels of government, the same for spending limits, specific election requirements, notification requirements, emergency spending and state mandates. The proponents of the measure appealed the initial single-subject ruling, asking for a rehearing. On February 6, at the rehearing, the Title Board upheld its prior decision. Therefore, no title is presently approved for the repeal initiative.
The system is set up to move along faster than normal for any further appeals. The proponents (Carol Hedges and Steve Briggs) may appeal directly to the Colorado Supreme Court to reverse the Title Board’s decision. That skips hearings at the trial court level and the Appellate Court level. There is no automated system to notify objectors (i.e., the TABOR Committee) if that appeal is filed, but our volunteers will keep monitoring for further developments.
Possible repeal of Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to get rehearing
January 28, 2019 By Sherrie Peif
DENVER — Two Denver residents behind a proposed ballot initiative to repeal the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) have filed for a rehearing after the Colorado Title Board initially rejected their proposal.
On Jan. 16, the Title Board denied setting a title on an initiative that would ask voters to repeal the 26-year-old constitutional amendment that requires voter approval to increase taxes or take on new debt. TABOR also limits the growth of a portion of the state budget to a formula of population growth plus inflation. The board said the initiative violated Colorado’s single subject rule.
Board member LeeAnn Morrill, who represented the Attorney General’s office, cited a Supreme Court decision over a 2002 proposed initiative that included a provision preventing the complete repeal of TABOR. She pointed out that the court stated in its decision: Continue reading
The Title Board is the first step in putting a citizen-initiated question before voters.
TABOR is a constitutional amendment that was passed by voters in 1992 that requires voter approval to increase taxes or take on new debt. It also limits the growth of a portion of the state budget to a formula of population growth plus inflation. It has been a controversial topic since its inception, and it’s been debated in the courts numerous times.
Many Democrats say it is a threat to Colorado’s education, transportation and health care funding, while Republicans counter that it is what has allowed the Colorado economy to prosper, as well as allowing Colorado to more easily weather economic downturns than states that lack taxpayer protections such as TABOR.
Many attempts to repeal or tweak portions of the amendment have come before the Title Board. This is the first time, however, that anyone can recall where a full repeal of the amendment has been proposed.
The World Happiness Report provides data and research used around the world to help shape and inform policy.
Among its findings: giving to others is good for you. It makes you feel happy.1-8
Since 1992, the TABOR Foundation protects the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. We educate citizens on why it matters to have a vote on increased taxes and how a formula for predictable growth creates a sound economy.
We are all volunteers.
We give advice and direction to citizens working at their local level to stop TABOR violations. We assist as plaintiffs and “friends of the courts in lawsuits to stop such violations.
The biggest trick of politicians is calling a new tax a “fee” – whether it’s for plastic grocery bags, living in a special district, running a hospital, driving over a bridge, or funding a mandatory family leave program with an insurance “fee.” We’ve responded to inquiries not just in Colorado, but in states like South Dakota, Kansas, Arizona, Alaska and Florida.
- Help fund our Speaker’s Bureau to educate fellow taxpayers about their rights.
- Help produce the TABOR 101 series of policy/how-to videos.
- Help fund the legal fees for amicus briefs.
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