Oct 16

TABOR Committee position on Proposition 120

The TABOR Committee urges a YES vote on Proposition 120, “Property Tax Assessment Rate Reduction.”

The proposal would put into law the assessed values for residential and commercial property for purposes of calculating annual property taxes.  It would lower the calculated tax burden by about $1 Billion.

The repeal of the Gallagher Amendment was argued as a way to simplify the tax system and make it more rational.  It also resulted in higher expected property taxes.  This proposal reduces the expected property taxes.  After the measure qualified for the ballot, the legislature acted to thwart the will of the people by passing a bill which vastly reduced the effect.  Voting for the measure will certainly lead to a necessary legal challenge, based on the standing legal theory that the most recent change in statute (the passage of the Proposition) becomes the new controlling law.  Not only is this measure’s underlying tax reform a good idea, but the fall-out will be critical in preventing future legislators from denying the people the right of the initiative through dishonest subterfuge.

#ItsYourMoneyNotTheirs
#ThankGodForTABOR
#VoteOnTaxesAndFees
#TABOR
#FollowTheMoney
#FollowTheLaw
#UnlessLiberalsIgnoreTheLaw

Oct 16

TABOR Committee position on Proposition 119

The TABOR Committee urges a NO vote on Proposition 119, “Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program.”

The initiated measure would change state law to increase taxes by $137.6 Million on marijuana.  Proceeds would go to a new program and agency to fund K-12 after-school activities.

That this concept includes voucher-like opportunities is a good, but insufficient reason to support the measure.  Yet another new centralized state government program is unlikely to solve the problems, will have a significant administrative burden and necessarily get bogged down in red tape, funding too much bureaucracy and too little programming.  Additionally, ever-higher taxes on marijuana will encourage the lower-cost, criminal underground market for pot.

#ItsYourMoneyNotTheirs
#ThankGodForTABOR
#VoteOnTaxesAndFees
#TABOR
#FollowTheMoney
#FollowTheLaw
#UnlessLiberalsIgnoreTheLaw

 

 

 

 

Oct 16

Announcing the TABOR Committee’s position on Amendment 78

The TABOR Committee urges a YES vote on Amendment 78, “Legislative Authority for Spending State Money”

This constitutional amendment respects the separation of powers by putting the General Assembly into the process of appropriating revenues received by the state government.  As the system works now, only the Executive branch (Governor and his appointed agencies) determine how federal grants, like COVID relief funds or money from legal settlements, are spent.

The legislative process allows for public comment and input, which is absent under the current system.  Passage of this measure would put that process in place, respecting an intent of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.  The TABOR Committee is also alarmed that so much power is currently in the hands of one person, which violates one of the founding principles of American governance.  Some concern exists that taxes currently counted toward the TABOR annual limitation will be made exempt, but the Committee was unable to identify any.  Therefore we endorse the proposed measure for respecting the proper separation of powers.

Sep 28

EDITORIAL: $4 billion in returns will fuel the economy

Tails should not wag dogs. It defies physics, not to mention the will of the dog. Tails should wag dogs no more than politicians should decide the size and scope of a government established by the governed to serve the governed. A roaring economy should never increase the size and scope of government unless the people demand it.

The residents of Colorado have made clear they don’t want more government. They believe the state has all the money it needs. They reiterated this conviction just two years ago when they trounced Proposition CC, a proposal to let the state keep revenues above a floating state spending cap determined by an equation of inflation and population growth.

Just last year, voters went a step further and lowered the Property tax from 4.63% to 4.55%, and probably would have voted for a lower rate had they been given the option.

One reason this center-left blue state wants to throttle back government spending is the general discontent the public has with the way politicians treat their money.

To read the rest of this editorial, please click (HERE):

Sep 23

State’s economic recovery expected to fuel billions in TABOR refunds

Colorado taxpayers should expect to see Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds for the next several years, provided state revenues continue to do well over that time, state economists told lawmakers Tuesday.

Those economists told the Colorado Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee that their third-quarter revenue forecasts are showing that if the economy continues to bounce back from last year’s pandemic downturn the way it is right now, the state could see more than $4 billion in surplus revenue over the next four years.

That’s money over and above what the 1992 TABOR and 2005 Referendum C voter-approved amendments allows the state to retain, meaning it all is to be refunded to taxpayers when they file their income tax forms starting next year.

As things stand now, the Legislature expects to refund about $471.4 million next year, $1 billion in 2023, $1.2 billion in 2024 and $1.4 billion in 2025, the economist estimated.

That’s all possible because the state’s economy overall is at or near at pre-pandemic levels.

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

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:

Aug 22

Menten: How to weigh in on local TABOR ballot measures

Menten: How to weigh in on local TABOR ballot measures

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 local ballot measures 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 notice discussed here is for elections held by local governments such as a city, town, school district, or special taxing district. You could potentially get more than one of these notices in the mail.

Several years back, it was discovered that out that of some 300 local tax issues throughout the state 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 where you live.  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.

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