Instructions To Listen To Oral Arguments In “Kerr vs. Polis”

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The lawsuit Kerr vs. Polis (formerly known as Kerr vs. Hickenlooper) is an existential threat against the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.  Politicians launched this lawsuit over a decade ago to have the federal courts overturn our Colorado constitutional provision.  What makes it especially pernicious is that the legal theory behind Plaintiffs’ arguments is that citizens can’t restrict the legislature in this fashion.  Although the people suing claim to aim only for TABOR, if they were to be successful, then the legal theory could lead to entrenched power claiming that citizens have no say in laying out rules that the government must live by.  The case is currently before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in which all the judges will review whether the Plaintiffs have “standing” to sue in the first place.

The oral arguments are set for May 10 at 10:00 am Mountain time.  It will be only on Zoom for Government.  Based on the written arguments, the discussion is likely to be arcane and legalistic.  You may listen in if you wish, and here are the instructions for doing so:

Guide for Participating in Video Oral Arguments Using Zoom for Government by North Suburban Republican Forum on Scribd

Mar 26

Millions more for Colorado K-12 schools? Lawmakers seek court opinion first.

Current Colorado lawmakers want to slowly increase local school district property taxes without a vote. They say it doesn’t violate the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights because a generation ago voters agreed to higher rates and state officials improperly lowered them.

Kellee Nolke talks to her kindergarten class at University Elementary School, 6525 W 18th St, in Greeley in 2019. (Joshua Polson, Special to The Colorado Sun)

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Colorado. More at chalkbeat.org.

Democratic lawmakers are asking the Colorado Supreme Court to decide whether a proposed tax change that could generate millions for K-12 education is constitutional.

Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights typically requires voter approval for tax increases. This proposal would gradually increase local school district property taxes without a vote under the premise that voters a generation ago agreed to higher rates and that state officials improperly lowered them.

On Friday, after giving initial approval to a bill to phase in higher local tax rates over 19 years, senators took the unusual step of sending what’s called an interrogatory seeking the opinion of the state’s highest court. Republicans Sen. Kevin Priola of Brighton and Bob Rankin of Carbondale joined Democrats in what was otherwise a party-line vote on the resolution.

Supporters hope to get a clear answer before the end of the legislative session and include the prospect of additional revenue in the 2021-22 budget. New local taxes would generate more than $90 million next year and could bring in the equivalent of around $288 million a year when they’re fully implemented.

Supporters believe previous case law indicates the court would agree with their interpretation. Legal experts have said the decision could go either way.

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

Mar 25

Several key principles the majority of Coloradans support

Dear Friend,

Even though times may seem more polarizing now than ever, one thing most Coloradans can agree on is that they want every citizen of our state to be allowed to flourish. They may have strong opinions on the issues, but surprisingly, there are still several key principles the majority of Coloradans support.

After conducting extensive statewide polling, I outlined 10 practical ideas the GOP should embrace to address some of the big issues that Coloradans care about:

  1. Continue to protect our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). Few things are more popular than people being allowed to vote on any tax (or large fee) increase.
  2. Lower taxes. Coloradans overwhelmingly support a property tax cut for both residential and commercial property. With housing costs on the rise, low-income families would especially benefit from this tax cut.
  3. Increase teacher pay. More of the existing money we spend on education should go to teachers instead of the bureaucracy.
  4. School choice. The impact of the pandemic on our education system has led to even more support for parental choice. Colorado should also pass a stipend for families to use for out-of-school learning opportunities – like tutoring.
  5. Public safety. With crime on the rise in many Colorado communities, voters are looking for leadership on this issue. They strongly oppose any destruction of property. And while they are open to reforms within the law enforcement system, they certainly don’t want to dismantle or defund it.

Read all 10 of my ideas here.

With 42% of Coloradans choosing to be unaffiliated with a political party, it’s more important than ever for candidates to be clear about their plans if voters entrust them with power. If Colorado Republicans unite around a few key issues, and drive their message home with voters, I believe the party will quickly begin to make a comeback.

Sincerely,

Michael Fields
Executive Director of Colorado Rising State Action

Mar 12

Colorado’s Competitiveness: The Challenge of Economic Recovery Under More than $1.8 Billion in New Regulations, Taxes and Fees

Prior to 2020 and the global economic and cultural upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado stood out for having strong economic growth and offering a desirable lifestyle. Coloradans had created the #1 state economy and enjoyed competitive advantages in attracting business growth and an educated workforce. In fact, in late 2019, US News World Report ranked Colorado’s business climate as one of the best in the nation.

However, after two periods of negative economic shocks in 2020, in both late spring and through the holidays, the state of business in Colorado remains under duress.

  • There were 150,000 fewer jobs in Colorado in December 2020 relative to the start of the years, representing a 5.4% cut.[i] While the statewide reduction is significant, it masks the disproportionate impacts across industries, as the leisure and hospitality industry was down 90,900 jobs by end of 2020, whereas professional and business services was up 7,100 jobs.[ii]
  • State taxable sales were down $8.9B, or -1.35%, in 2020 relative to 2019.[iii] Small business suffered, especially. As of February 10th, small business revenue was down 29.5% from January 2020 levels.[iv]
  • Colorado’s unemployment rate increased by the 2nd-most among all states, from 2.5% to 8.5%. The Colorado state unemployment ranking went from near first (4th) to almost last (48th).[v]

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

Mar 12

Get ready, America, Democrats think tax hikes are the answer to everything: Grover Norquist

Every issue is an excuse to expand the size and scope of government and implement trillions in new taxes


 

If your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

For Democrats today, the solution for every new issue is another tax increase. Name the “problem” and their “solution” is a higher tax on American families and businesses.

Every issue is an excuse to expand the size and scope of government and implement trillions in new taxes.

Even in the recent $1.9 trillion COVID “relief” spending spree legislation, Democrats put in a proviso that they believe will stop any tax reduction by Republican-led state governments for the next four years: If a state cuts taxes the Biden administration will threaten to sue to get their “bailout money” back.

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

Feb 07

Appeals Court Rules Kerr, et al, Have Standing In TABOR Lawsuit

Appeals Rules Standing OK_7.22.19 by North Suburban Republican Forum on Scribd

Feb 07

Court Wait Until After Ballot Initiative

Court_wait Until After Ballot Initiative_12.13.19 by North Suburban Republican Forum on Scribd

Feb 07

Court Order Vacates Appellate Panel Decision

Court Order Vacates Appellate Panel_10.14.20 by North Suburban Republican Forum on Scribd

Feb 06

Appeals Court Rules Standing OK

FILED
United States Court of Appeals
Tenth Circuit

PUBLISH
July 22, 2019

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
Elisabeth A. Shumaker

Clerk of Court
FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT
_________________________________
ANDY KERR, Colorado State
Representative; NORMA V. ANDERSON;
JANE M. BARNES, member Jefferson
County Board of Education; ELAINE GANTZ BERMAN, member State Board of Education; ALEXANDER E. BRACKEN; WILLIAM K. BREGAR, member Pueblo District 70 Board of Education; BOB BRIGGS, Westminster No. 17-1192
City Councilman; BRUCE W.
BRODERINS, member Weld County
District 6 Board of Education; TRUDY B.
BROWN; JOHN C. BUECHNER, Ph.D.,
Lafayette City Councilman; STEPHEN A.
BURKHOLDER; RICHARD L. BYYNY,
M.D.; LOIS COURT, Colorado State
Representative; THERESA L. CRATER;
ROBIN CROSSAN, member Steamboat
Springs RE-2 Board of Education;
RICHARD E. FERDINANDSEN;
STEPHANIE GARCIA, member Pueblo
City Board of Education; KRISTI
HARGROVE; DICKEY LEE
HULLINGHORST, Colorado State
Representative; NANCY JACKSON,
Arapahoe County Commissioner; CLAIRE
LEVY, Colorado State Representative;
MARGARET MARKERT, Aurora City
Councilwoman, a/k/a Molly Markert; MEGAN J. MASTEN; MICHAEL MERRIFIELD; MARCELLA L.
MORRISON, a/k/a Marcy L. Morrison;
JOHN P. MORSE, Colorado State Senator;
PAT NOONAN; BEN PEARLMAN,
Boulder County Commissioner;
Continue reading

Feb 06

Court Wait Until After Ballot Initiative

Appellate Case: 17-1192 Document: 010110274622 Date Filed: 12/13/2019 Page: 1
FILED
United States Court of Appeals
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS _________________________________ FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT Elisabeth A. Shumaker December 13, 2019Tenth Circuit
ANDY KERR, Colorado State Clerk of Court
Representative, et al.,
Plaintiffs – Appellants,

v. No. 17-1192
(D.C. No. 1:11-CV-01350-RM-NYW)
JARED POLIS, Governor of Colorado in (D. Colo.) his official capacity,

Defendant – Appellee.

——————————

COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF
SCHOOL BOARDS AND COLORADO
ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL
EXECUTIVES, et al.,

Amici Curiae.
_________________________________
ORDER
_________________________________
Before BRISCOE, SEYMOUR, and HOLMES, Circuit Judges.
_________________________________
This matter is before the Court on the appellee’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc of our decision in Kerr v. Polis, 930 F.3d 1190 (10th Cir. 2019). A response to the Petition is also on file.
Upon review of these pleadings we note that a ballot initiative has been filed with the Colorado Secretary of State that proposes a vote at the next general election to repeal

Appellate Case: 17-1192 Document: 010110274622 Date Filed: 12/13/2019 Page: 2
Section 20 of Article X of the Colorado Constitution, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). In June 2019, the Colorado Supreme Court held that the “initiative comprises a single subject within the meaning of the Colorado Constitution,” and returned the initiative to the Title Board to “set[] a title, ballot title, and submission clause.” In re Ballot Title #3, 2019 CO 57, ¶ 40. The initiative is currently pending review by the Colorado Supreme Court on a second appeal raising questions about the appropriate title for the initiative. Continue reading