Jan 16

Americans for Prosperity releases 2015 legislative agenda, and it’s a doozy

Do not expand Medicaid. Roll back renewable energy requirements. Thwart the EPA’s regulation of coal-fired power plants. Let charter schools run amok. Reform the tax code.

This is the 2015 legislative agenda released this morning by Americans for Prosperity, North Carolina a far-right advocacy group, one that would  “improve economic freedom and personal wellbeing.”   AFPNC-Legislative-Agenda.pdf

Whose economic freedom and personal wellbeing? Probably not yours.

AFP, whose backers include Art Pope and his various foundations, also supports Taxpayer Bill of Rights, otherwise known as TABOR. By appropriating the name “Bill of Rights,” from the U.S. Constitution, AFP wants to fool you into thinking TABOR will somehow stand between you and tyranny. Not so. Continue reading

Jan 15

Don’t punish taxpayers for prosperity

CAPITOL REVIEW
Mark Hillman, 15 January 2015

Colorado’s economy has shown remarkable resiliency in the wake of the Great Recession.

Unemployment has steadily fallen from a high of 9.6% in 2010 to an estimated 4.1% in November 2014.

Income indicators roared past pre-recession levels and now both wages and salary and per capita income are significantly higher.

In the past five years, taxes and fees paid by Coloradans to their state government have grown by 43% from $8.5 billion to an estimated $12.3 billion in the current year.

And next year, state revenue could surpass the state’s spending limit for the first time in 15 years, triggering a modest rebate to taxpayers of $116 million or 0.4% of next year’s state budget.

But those in the Government Always Needs More Money Choir just can’t stand this prosperity. They are howling that that this modest refund – and perhaps future refunds, if the economy continues to grow – are somehow strangling our state government.

Remember, these rebates to taxpayers were approved by voters in the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) – the same law that requires a public vote on tax increases. Politicians and “the spending lobby” had resisted such limits for years.

Thirteen years after TABOR passed, voters approved Referendum C to correct the one obvious flaw in TABOR by allowing state government spending to rebound as the economy recovers from a recession. Continue reading

Jan 15

Former Gov. Roy Romer tells Hickenlooper to lead a ‘movement’ to repeal TABOR

Former Gov. Roy Romer tells Hickenlooper to lead a ‘movement’ to repeal TABOR

RomerDemocrat Roy Romer holds his final press conference in January 1999 as he prepares to leave office after 12 years as Colorado governor. (The Denver Post)

Gov. John Hickenlooper invited three former Democratic governors to offer advice for his second term at his inaugural celebration Tuesday evening.

It started lighthearted with former Gov. Dick Lamm. But then former Gov. Roy Romer gave him an earful.

“This is an evening both of fun and seriousness,” Romer started. “I’m going to be the serious part.”

“My advice is, governor, lead a movement in this state to repeal the TABOR amendment,” he said to cheers from the crowd at the Fillmore Auditorium, where guests paid $100-a-plate to attend. “We need to invest in the future of our children’s education and the infrastructure of this state. We need to return that power, that authority, that decision, to the people’s representative, the legislature and the governor.”

To read the rest of this article, click the following link:
http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2015/01/13/romer-tabor-hickenlooper/116318/

Jan 15

Simplicity The Key To Asking To Spend TABOR Funds

Continue reading

Jan 11

With first Senate bill, Cadman takes aim at TABOR rebates

By

The first batch of state Senate bills popped into the online queue Wednesday, hours after session ended. But one was missing at first: Senate Bill 1, reserved for President Bill Cadman.

Now it’s online, and it’s a big one. The measure would change how the state awards refunds under the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights — essentially shifting who gets the most money back when the state exceeds its TABOR revenue cap.

It’s a complicated topic, but the analysts at the Colorado Fiscal Institute broke it down. (Spoiler alert: The left-leaning policy organization actually likes the bill.)

To read the rest of this article, click the following link:
http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2015/01/08/cadman-tabor-rebates/116112/#more-116112

Jan 11

TABOR may put roadblock in front of I-70 fix

Editorials

By The Denver Post Editorial Board

Posted:   01/10/2015

A simulation of what the cap would like like over Interstate 70 through the Swansea neighborhood. (Photo courtesy of the Colorado Department of

A simulation of what the cap would like like over Interstate 70 through the Swansea neighborhood. (Photo courtesy of the Colorado Department of Transportation)

Thanks to constraints of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, the funding for the reconstruction of Interstate 70 through north Denver has fallen apart, outgoing state transportation director Don Hunt told us the other day.

The state is expected to give back at least $137 million to Coloradans for fiscal year 2015-16 in the form of a TABOR rebate, and for complicated reasons that rebate will seriously impact transportation and capital construction funds.

It is further evidence that even in these heady economic times, TABOR is proving to have destructive impacts on basic government services.

To read the rest of this article, click the following link:
http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_27289664/tabor-may-put-roadblock-front-i-70-fix

 

Jan 10

It’s Not Our Money to Spend – You Earned It – You Spend It

clarice
It’s Not Our Money to Spend – You Earned It – You Spend It

The 2015 Colorado State Legislative Session brings a number of big issues to the forefront for the Legislature and the people of Colorado: energy development, the marijuana industry, gun restrictions; the list can go on and on with topics that will change the lives of many Coloradans. One topic that has just as much prominence, and has made a big wave among concerned legislators is the tax refund issue and TABOR.  If you read nothing further, please take this advice…HOLD ON TO YOUR WALLETS COLORADO TAX PAYERS.

The exact repayment figures and who would qualify remains unclear, but analysts estimate $137 million in TABOR refunds for the 2015 fiscal year.

Many Democrats in the State Legislature aren’t realizing that there are some positives to TABOR.  I’m already hearing some on the other side of the aisle offering the tired rhetoric that TABOR makes it harder to restore budget cuts, but in reality, TABOR is a system that provides some benefits.  TABOR prevents government overspending, and frankly, I am appalled that there is even the consideration of not returning this money to the people of Colorado.  This is money that they are legally entitled to.

An economic viewpoint is, yes, the TABOR refunds will be taking surplus money from the government and giving it back to the people of Colorado. That does not mean that this money will not be put to use to benefit the state as it would if it was left in the hands of politicians. Most people will use this money to pay their bills, some will save it, and some will impulsively spend it. The increase of investing, saving, and consuming will expand the private sector and benefit Colorado’s economic growth. TABOR keeps the growth of the government in line with the growth of the private sector thus creating more economic stability, which in turn benefits everyone.

The people of Colorado enacted TABOR in 1992; therefore by law, it is money that belongs to the people of Colorado. There is always something that the government can spend excess money on, no matter the amount of money the state has control of.  Politicians will always find something to allocate it towards. The plain and simple fact of it is, the excess money is not the state’s money in the first place, and that money belongs to the tax payers of Colorado. It is our duty as fiscally responsible representatives of the people of the state of Colorado to honor the TABOR refund and honor the people of Colorado. The people who earned it know best how to spend it.
#majoritiesmatter
Sincerely,

Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff
State Representative

Jan 09

With first Senate bill, Cadman takes aim at TABOR rebates

By

A bill about TABOR refunds.

The first batch of state Senate bills popped into the online queue Wednesday, hours after session ended. But one was missing at first: Senate Bill 1, reserved for President Bill Cadman.

Now it’s online, and it’s a big one. The measure would change how the state awards refunds under the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights — essentially shifting who gets the most money back when the state exceeds its TABOR revenue cap.

It’s a complicated topic, but the analysts at the Colorado Fiscal Institute broke it down. (Spoiler alert: The left-leaning policy organization actually likes the bill.)

To read the rest of this article, click the following link:
http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2015/01/08/cadman-tabor-rebates/116112/

 

Jan 09

Lawmakers open 2015 session agreeing on education funding, but not on TABOR

Listen

Audio: CPR’s Megan Verlee reports on the Legislature’s start

Economic opportunity, education funding, business development: Whatever issues you care about, there’s a good chance the 70th Colorado General Assembly will try to do something about them in the coming months.

The lawmakers convened Wednesday with Democrats still in the majority in the House. But the Senate is now under Republican control, for the first time in a decade. Compromise will be key to getting bills passed.

Continue reading

Jan 08

First day of Colorado legislative session targets gun control, abortion laws

DENVER – After a year of bitter contention over stricter gun laws, Colorado Republicans proposed bills on Wednesday that seek to repeal controversial legislation that was passed by Democrats in 2013.

The laws, which bans the possession of large-capacity (more than 15 rounds) magazines and require background checks for all private gun sales, triggered at least one lawsuit against the state and played a part in recall elections that put two southern Colorado lawmakers out of office.

HB 15-1009 would repeal the law banning possession and sale of large-capacity magazines. HB 15-1050, brought forward by Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Janak Joshi of House District 16, aims to repeal the background checks for the transfer of guns from non-licensed carriers.

Wednesday’s opening day of the Colorado legislative session included more than the anticipated repeal of gun laws.

Continue reading