Sep 21

The Colorado Discriminatory Grant Program

FYI.
This is similar to President Biden’s Federal program for minority businesses that was ruled unconstitutional by a Federal judge.
Governor Polis is trying to skirt the law with Colorado funds.
Forward this information to your friends who qualify so we can try to get the Colorado program ruled unconstitutional

 

 

 


From:
Wen Fa [mailto:WFa@pacificlegal.org]
Subject: RE: Colorado’s Discriminatory Grant Program

Pacific Legal Foundation is looking to identify small businesses in Colorado that may be interested in serving as public interest clients (i.e., with our pro bono representation) in challenging Colorado’s program that prioritizes grants to certain minority owned small businesses. Below is a summation of the issue. If you know of anyone who might be a good fit, we would be very interested in connecting with them.

Colorado is in the process of creating guidelines to distribute 1.7 million dollars in grants to small businesses impacted by the COVID pandemic. The law that authorizes this program expressly gives a preference to “minority-owned business,” and disadvantages businesses owned by someone who is white or Native American.   Last week Colorado posted guidelines for the grants: https://oedit.colorado.gov/disproportionately-impacted-business-grant .   The grants are for up to $10,000 per business, and applications are open from September 17 to October 3, 2021.

The program will give a preference to minority-owned businesses in distributing the grants, which we still believe is unconstitutional.

Given the short application window, we want to speak with individuals who own small businesses and are interested in applying for these grants as soon as possible. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Wen Fa | Attorney
Pacific Legal Foundation
930 G Street | Sacramento, CA 95814
916.419.7111

 

 

Sep 16

Sen. Rob Woodward: Why can’t Democrats respect the will of the voters?

By Sen. Rob Woodward 

If there is one thing that I’ve learned during my time in state government, it’s that Coloradans like to have their voices heard on taxes, fees and government debt. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) is often at the center of debate and discussion on these issues, but at every opportunity that voters have had, they’ve repeatedly upheld TABOR.

Colorado voters soundly defeated — by over 100,000 votes — an attempt to repeal portions of TABOR just two years ago when we voted down Proposition CC. Then, in 2020, voters strengthened TABOR by passing Proposition 117, which required that any new fees that feed into a government enterprise that expect to bring in over $100 million over five years must be voted on by the people. This initiative was born from necessity as some politicians found it convenient to bypass TABOR by simply switching out the term “tax” for “fee.”

This legislative session, Democrats, who have complete control over state government, were determined to not let you have a say when it comes to taxes and fees. Colorado Public Radio columnist Andrew Kenney dubbed this legislative session as “The Year Democrats Left TABOR Behind,” and I unfortunately must agree.

To continue reading the rest of this story, please click (HERE):
Sep 15

Towns and Cities Should Use Their Stimulus Windfalls to Cut Taxes

Towns and Cities Should Use Their Stimulus Windfalls to Cut Taxes

States can’t do it, but there’s nothing stopping local governments from issuing refunds.

By Judge Glock

Sept. 14, 2021 12:54 pm ET


President Biden speaks during at an event on his tour touting the American Rescue Plan Act in Columbus, Ohio, March 23.  PHOTO: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS

Since the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in March, state policy makers have fiercely debated how to spend nearly $200 billion in stimulus funds. Few Americans, however, have heard plans for the $130 billion that went to cities and counties.

Despite concerns during the pandemic that the economic downturn would bankrupt local governments, we now know that they don’t need this windfall. Local governments actually saw an increase in tax revenue in 2020, thanks to growing property taxes, and they are looking at a bumper tax year in 2021. States should push these cities and counties to return the stimulus money to taxpayers by allowing citizens to vote on any new spending.

The stimulus legislation forbade states to use the money to cut taxes. It was silent on local government tax cuts, but did say those funds should be used for the relief of households and for spurring local economies. Nothing would accomplish these tasks better than cutting property and sales taxes, the two biggest sources of local tax revenue.

Not only is stimulus unnecessary for most local governments, it was distributed nonsensically. The act gave money to counties and small cities based solely on their population and to large cities based on an antiquated formula from the 1970s that benefits bluer cities in the Northeast and Midwest.

To continue reading this story from the Wall Street Journal, please click (HERE):

Sep 07

EDITORIAL: Refunds remind us of TABOR’s wisdom

060921-dg-capitol
The Colorado State Capitol building during the final day of the legislative session on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 in Denver, Colo. (Katie Klann/The Gazette)

It seems like just yesterday to us that Colorado voters adopted the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights on the statewide ballot and ensconced it into the state’s constitution. Yet, the groundbreaking policy has been in effect for nearly three decades.

In that time, it has kept state and local government on a diet — and has saved taxpayers untold millions of dollars. And they still love it after all these years, as most credible polls show.

Perhaps more noteworthy: Even some political leaders on the center-left seem to have made their peace with the policy. Our reputedly liberal Democratic governor from Boulder went so far as to laud it just the other day. That’s quite a stride.

Yet, TABOR’s basic premise has always made perfect sense to the general public. It requires voter approval for any tax hike at any level of government in the state. And it set limits on the rate at which government budgets can grow. Any increase in tax revenue that exceeds the rates of growth plus inflation in a given year have to be returned to taxpayers. Elected leaders can keep the overage if they first ask voters’ permission.

Click (HERE) to continue reading this story about TABOR:

Sep 04

Here’s the income-tax cut and refund payment Coloradans will get because the TABOR cap was exceeded

Here’s the income-tax cut and refund payment Coloradans will get because the TABOR cap was exceeded

According to the state controller, the cap was exceeded in the 2020-21 fiscal year, which ended in June, by about $454 million

12:14 PM MDT on Sep 2, 2021


The Colorado State Capitol is seen on Thursday, August 19, 2021, in Denver. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)

Colorado taxpayers will get a break on their income taxes and a refund payment because the state’s cap on government growth and spending under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights was exceeded last fiscal year.

The income tax rate will drop to 4.5% in 2021, down from 4.55%, and individual taxpayers will get an additional sales tax refund payment, on average, of about $70. Joint filers will receive $166 on average.

“These tax cuts and refunds are a strong sign that Colorado’s economy is roaring back,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a written statement. “I’m excited that Coloradans will get another income tax cut and refund that Coloradans can put toward bouncing back from the pandemic, a night out, or groceries.” Continue reading

Aug 22

Castle Rock looks to voters to ‘de-Bruce’ for 10 years

TABOR pause would pay for road improvements, police and fire personnel

Posted 

In November, the Town of Castle Rock will ask taxpayers to pause TABOR for 10 years. TABOR, known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, was approved in the 1990s, changing the state’s constitution to require all tax increases be approved by voters, limiting how much local and state government can spend.

Castle Rock Town Manager David Corliss said he has no problem with the part of TABOR that requires residents to approve tax increases. However, the restrictions and limits TABOR can put on a municipality to keep up with the cost of growth is a problem, he said.

TABOR is a state tax and expenditure limit that includes the following elements: It is a Colorado constitutional amendment; it restricts revenue or expenditure growth to the sum of inflation plus population change; and it requires voter approval to override the revenue or spending limits.

Colorado is the only state in the nation with TABOR.

Castle Rock Town Attorney Michael Hyman is no stranger to how TABOR has created controversy and issues for state and local municipalities trying to balance a budget. In the 1990s when TABOR was passed by voters, Hyman worked for the City of Aurora.

Click (HERE) to continue reading the rest of this story

Aug 11

Mark Hillman: State Democrats ignore voters’ voices

Mark Hillman: State Democrats ignore voters’ voices

By MARK HILLMAN |

August 11, 2021 at 7:30 a.m.

Gov. Jared Polis and Progressive Democrat majorities at the Ssate Capitol have spent the past three years ignoring clearly-expressed voices of Colorado voters on tax and economic issues. In fact, Progressive Democrats’ disregard for many of the same voters who elected them has become so brazen that they seem to be daring voters to hold them accountable.

With commanding majorities of 41-24 in the House of Representatives and 20-15 in the state Senate, it’s understandable that Democrats are developing a sense of invincibility.

However, it remains to be seen if the Democrats’ recent surge — in 2017, they held a 34-31 margin in the House, while Republicans had an 18-17 majority in the Senate — is due to their own popularity or because Donald Trump irritated many Colorado voters.

In 2018, Colorado voters rejected (59%-40%) a tax increase to raise $700 million a year for highways and transportation. In that same election, voters said “no” (55%-45%) to draconian restrictions on oil and gas development across the state. Polis, campaigning for governor, claimed to oppose those severe oil-and-gas restrictions.

To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

Aug 11

Submitting FOR or AGAINST statements in your local TABOR ballot issue notice

 Submitting FOR or AGAINST statements in your local TABOR ballot issue notice

One great though lesser-known benefit provided in the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) is the local ballot issue notice. This guide is sent by mail at least 30-days before the election to all households with one or more registered voters.

The TABOR ballot issue notice includes content and details about upcoming ballot issues which increase taxes, add debt, or suspend government revenue limits. It includes a section where registered electors have the opportunity to submit FOR or AGAINST comments, up to 500 words each.

You should know that there are two types of TABOR ballot issue notices. One notice is for the statewide elections and commonly referred to as the “Blue Book.” The other notice is for elections held by local governments such as a town, school district, or special district. You could potentially get more than one of these in the mail.

Several years back, Dennis Polhill challenged the Colorado Union of Taxpayers by pointing out that of some 300 tax issues statewide during a ballot year, only 15 had the taxpayer’s voice printed in a ballot issue notice.  That’s only 5 percent!  You can make a big difference and amplify your voice by being an author of the next ballot issue notice submittal.  May we count on you please to participate?    Considering that you reach thousands of voters, being able to submit comments in the TABOR notice costs almost nothing and takes relatively little time & energy.

Continue reading

Jul 24

2021 Colorado legislature’s new taxes bypass TABOR

2021 Colorado legislature’s new taxes bypass TABOR by Kevin Lundberg

 

Taxes and TABOR

As a part of my deeper dive into the 2021 bills that are now law, this week’s bills affecting taxes and TABOR are examined. In general, the bills which passed this year increased taxes and established new enterprises without calling for any constitutionally required votes from the people of Colorado.

This is far too predictable for the majority party. They use every trick in their playbook to wiggle around the clear intent of TABOR to require the people to vote on these significant new burdens on all citizens of Colorado.

However, there was one small bright spot I found.  SB-227 created the State Emergency Reserve Cash Fund, finally putting actual cash into the TABOR-required emergency fund. Since TABOR was created, nearly thirty years ago, the TABOR emergency reserve has been essentially ignored. Instead of actually setting aside cash as a reserve the legislature creatively designated assets, such as buildings as the “reserve” for emergencies. Finally, in this year, when the state coffers are full of federal debt dollars, they found some money to actually make a viable fund.

But the rest of the laws headed in the opposite direction Continue reading