TABOR Board member Brian Vande Krol did a televised debate last week regarding Denver’s Bond issues on your November 7th ballot. Here is his opening comments:
Taxpayers Have Their Own Bill of Rights in Colorado. But Who Benefits?
The unique anti-tax tool has defined spending in the state, and it may spread to more states.
The blue tag on the streetlight outside Robert Loevy’s Colorado Springs home in 2010 didn’t signal an upcoming utility project. It was a receipt to show he had paid the $100 to keep his light on for the year. The city was facing a decimating $40 million budget gap and, among many other cuts, it was turning off one-third of its streetlights. That is, unless residents could come up with the money themselves. “I could afford to pay it,” Loevy says today, “but I have to think that would have been a stretch for many lower-income people.”
Loevy, a retired Colorado College professor, says the lights-out incident — which earned Colorado Springs international infamy that year — is just one of the many instances in which Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) has only benefited those taxpayers who can afford to pay for services out of their own pocket. Loevy has been a vocal critic of the law. As he sees it, “TABOR has had its worst effects on poor people.”
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
Kristi Hargrove voted for Donald Trump in the last election. From Crested Butte, which she calls a liberal town, she identifies as a proud Republican.
“My daughter came home from school, she was in middle school, complaining about how cold she was at school,” Hargrove said. It was around 2003. “I said to her, well wear more clothes, because you never put on enough clothes.”
However, when Hargrove went to work on a student directory for her P.T.A., she had trouble because her fingers were freezing. After confronting the principle, she found out the school had turned down the utilities.
“We live in a fairly affluent area and I thought that was ridiculous,” she said. “My comment to her was, ‘who’s wasting money?’” Continue reading
An effort to reform the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR, passed its first test on Monday with Republican support. File photo.An effort to reform the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR, passed its first test on Monday with Republican support, though the legislation faces an uphill battle.
Some TABOR observers call it progress that two Republicans are sponsoring the effort to change how the state calculates its spending cap.
The bill received bipartisan support from the House Finance Committee. It heads to appropriations for consideration.
Despite the bipartisan support, Rep. Dan Thurlow of Grand Junction and Sen. Larry Crowder of Alamosa, sponsors of House Bill 1187, are still mavericks on the subject though an evolution appears to be underway.
“Let’s merely take a look at TABOR one more time and see how it’s working over the last 25 years, and if it’s working we leave it alone, and if it’s not working we make an adjustment,” Thurlow said during a well-attended hearing at the Capitol.
DENVER (AP) — The Latest on a bill to loosen a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights limit on Colorado state revenues (all times local):
5:20 p.m. p.m.
The Democrat-led House Finance Committee voted 10-3 Monday to refer the bill by Republican Rep. Dan Thurlow and GOP Sen. Larry Crowder to the House Appropriations Committee.
Their bill would ask voters in November to change the way annual state revenue limits are calculated under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
It could allow the state to keep hundreds of millions of dollars for roads, education and other priorities.
Opponents argued that any proposed change to TABOR, a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 1992, should be in the form of a constitutional amendment — not a statutory change called for by the bill.
Constitutional changes carry tougher ballot qualification and voter passage benchmarks.
Two Colorado Republicans want to loosen a constitutional restriction on how much revenue the state can receive without having to issue tax refunds.
Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Larry Crowder say it’s time to have a conversation about those limits 25 years after voters approved them under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
Republicans long have opposed TABOR tampering, arguing excess revenues belong to taxpayers.
But Thurlow and Crowder say individual refunds would be pocket change when the state faces a $500 million budget deficit.
Their bill would ask voters in November to change the way TABOR’s annual revenue limits are calculated. It would potentially allow the state to keep hundreds of millions of dollars for roads, education and other priorities.
A House committee hears testimony on the bill Monday.
Two Colorado Republican lawmakers are delivering on their promise from earlier this year to fine-tune TABOR, a 25-year-old constitutional restriction on how much the state can receive — and spend — without triggering tax refunds.
Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Larry Crowder have introduced House Bill 17-1187 that seeks to change the way annual revenue limits set by the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights are calculated.
It’s a first step that could allow the state to keep millions of dollars for roads, education and other priorities, starting with an extra $175 million in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, according to legislative analysts.
Thurlow, of Grand Junction, and Crowder, of Alamosa, have asked: What’s the use of individual taxpayer refunds amounting to pocket change when, this year alone, lawmakers must close a $500 million gap to balance the budget that begins July 1?
“I believe our party is the party of solutions and this bill is an example of that,” Thurlow said Monday. Continue reading