Jul 04

EDITORIAL: Rebate grabbers at Colorado Capitol try a new scheme

EDITORIAL: Rebate grabbers at Colorado Capitol try a new scheme

  • By: 
Colorado State Senate (copy) (copy)
Caption +
State politicians are scheming to have Gov. Jared Polis call a special session this summer. They need a chance to fix their big problem with Proposition CC.

Prop CC, referred to the ballot by the 2019 Legislature, would gut the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Surveys show TABOR, passed by voters in 1992, is more popular than ever.

Taxpayers like TABOR because voters do not trust politicians on either side of the aisle. They are tired of legislators passing laws that counter their will, such as jobs-killing regulations of oil and gas that voters rejected on the ballot. They are tired of state officials acting broke while the economy generates mountains of surplus cash.

This year, with the booming state economy, TABOR might generate its largest tax rebate in history. Some politicians cannot stand it. They think they know best how best to spend the money. They loathe returning it to the people who earned it.
Jul 04

Colorado Governor Jared Polis Is Working On A New Plan To Block Tax Relief

Colorado Governor Jared Polis Is Working On A New Plan To Block Tax Relief

Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) welcomed conservative economist Art Laffer to the state capitol in Denver today to help gin up Republican support for a potential deal intended to avert taxpayer refunds projected to be sent to Colorado taxpayers in the coming year, with Polis’ ultimate goal being the wounding of the nation’s strongest taxpayer protection measure so that it remains in effect in name only, not in practice.

Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), approved by voters in 1992 as an amendment to the state constitution, is the sturdiest taxpayer safeguard in the nation. Under TABOR, state revenue cannot grow faster than the combined rate of population growth and inflation.

Any state revenue collected in excess of the TABOR cap must be refunded to taxpayers. Thanks to healthy state revenue collections coming in above the cap allowed by Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, current projections show the state will have to refund roughly $500 million to Colorado taxpayers next year. That won’t happen if Proposition CC, a measure ending TABOR refunds, is rejected by Colorado voters this November.

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

Jun 29

Caldara: Cowboy up and repeal of Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights

Caldara: Cowboy up and repeal of Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights

In this file photo, volunteers pile up signs for backers of the 2005 ballot measures that aimed to lift some TABOR restrictions. Referendum C passed which allowed the state to retain expected refunds for five years and reset the TABOR base.

By JON CALDARA | Columnist for The Denver Post

PUBLISHED: June 28, 2019 at 2:14 pm

Come on you taxpayer-hating, consent-loathing, voter-fearing pantywaists.

Cowboy up and put a full repeal of our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights on the ballot. You know you want to. So just do it.

I’m talking to you in the Colorado Legislature who’ve been calling tax increases “fees” because you don’t trust the people who elected you to vote on their own taxes. You who want another “TABOR time out” to nibble away consent and jack up spending limits permanently.

You’ve always hated TABOR because you hate asking for permission to raise taxes. You hate asking to raise debt. You hate asking to keep excess tax revenue above the rate of population growth and inflation.

You’ve used every conceivable loophole the courts have pried open for you to keep what would have been refunded to working families.

And now you never want to have to ask again.

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

Jun 20

How much Colorado taxpayers will get in TABOR refunds depends on these two wildcards

How much Colorado taxpayers will get in TABOR refunds depends on these

How much Colorado taxpayers will get in TABOR refunds depends on these two wildcards

A ballot measure in November will ask voters a key question, and now lawmakers are talking about a special legislative session, too

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENTPRIMARY CATEGORY IN WHICH BLOG POST IS PUBLISHED

Jun 20

Even the Denver Post is skeptical of Proposition CC

Want to repeal TABOR? We do too, but here’s some realistic advice

We’ve always thought a repeal of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights would be prudent. We now know, thanks to a Colorado Supreme Court ruling, that it’s possible; all that remains to be known is if it’s plausible.

Common lore and a dismal record of voter approval for tax increases would indicate that voters in fact like TABOR. When asked to raise taxes, as required under TABOR, voters have said no, consistently.

This summer, the conversation is going to heat up around TABOR, especially given that taxpayer refunds are in the forecast. We have some advice for how opponents of the rigid and restrictive amendment should frame the conversation.

First, we are no longer convinced that the state needs more revenue for the general fund. The state’s economy is booming, and thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, revenue from state income tax filings has spiked in Colorado.

How much more revenue are we talking about?

To read of the rest of the Denver Post Editorial, click (HERE):

Jun 19

Colorado taxpayers possibly headed for both TABOR refund and tax cut

Colorado taxpayers possibly headed for both TABOR refund and tax cut

  • PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

Coloradans are inching closer to their first TABOR tax refunds in years, according to updated state revenue forecasts released Wednesday.

In fact, state collections have been so strong that taxpayers are likely to get both a sales tax refund and a state income tax cut, according to Kate Watkins, the chief economist for Colorado’s Legislative Council.

She and her team estimate TABOR will drop the state’s income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.5 percent for both 2019 and 2020. For someone who makes $50,000 a year that’s a savings of $65. The sales tax refund amount is based on a complicated formula, but it ranged from $13 to $41 when the state last gave them out, in 2015.

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story.

TABOR Committee responds to Court ruling on TABOR repeal

Featured

TABOR Committee responds to Court ruling on TABOR repeal

 

Colorado’s Constitution contains a provision which requires that all matters proposed by ballot initiatives can address only one subject.  Yesterday, the Colorado Supreme Court allowed a ballot measure to proceed that would wipe out the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in its entirety.  The Court explicitly threw out a quarter-century of precedent.

The TABOR Committee adamantly condemns the Court’s determination.

“The Court has become dangerously unmoored from the clear meaning of the state constitution,” protested Penn Pfiffner, the Committee’s chairman.  The TABOR Committee points out that the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights includes not only the frequently-debated provisions for slowing the growth of government, but also for example

  • election provisions that call for, among other things, notification of the citizens by any Colorado government of any election,
  • requirements for emergency reserves at all levels of government
  • a state-wide prohibition on real estate transfer taxes ,
  • rules for property tax assessments
  • rights of local districts to resist state-imposed mandates.

Committee Board director Rebecca Sopkin observed, “It is strange that the Court found all of this to be one subject. The Court held that all of the above provisions and rights are ‘necessarily and properly connected,’ as though no one of them could exist without the others. We find that to be preposterous.”

In a scathing dissent, Justice Marquez pointed out that using the Court’s logic, a single measure could repeal the entire Colorado Bill of Rights.  Petitioners could simply substitute the Bill of Rights[1] for the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights[2].

 

The TABOR Committee finds it unsettling that the Colorado Supreme Court appears to take sides.  It specifically addresses[3] what seems to be at the heart of issue – that it would be difficult and expensive to repeal the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in a “piecemeal” manner.  Does the Court step into the political arena in an attempt to collaborate and cooperate with TABOR opponents? The Court should be impartial rather than act to relieve TABOR opponents of “expense and difficulty.”

 

The single subject issue arose as a ballot initiative in 1994. TABOR was very much part of the debate. The official summary (Blue Book) specifically noted that if the Single Subject Rule were to be passed, then it would not be possible to repeal TABOR in a single vote.  Instead, it would be necessary to address its provisions one at a time.  Citizens passed the measure.  The Court ignored the will of the people, history, established law, and common sense in its Opinion.

[1] Colorado Constitution Article 2

[2] Colorado constitution Article 10, Section 20

[3] Opinion, page 12

Jun 13

Group forms to fight anti-TABOR ballot question

Group forms to fight anti-TABOR ballot question

061219-cp-web-tabor.png
Members of No on CC, including, from left, Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville, Colorado Regent At-Large Heidi Ganahl, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck.

A group made up of some of the Colorado Republican Party’s biggest names has formed to fight Proposition CC on the November ballot. The measure would allow the state to keep future refunds allowed by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to go for schools and transportation.

The group, called No on CC, includes former Gov. Bill Owens, former U.S. Sen. Hank Brown, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck and Colorado House Republican leader Patrick Neville.

The leadership is strong and well-known in GOP circles, as well. The co-chairs are University of Colorado Regent At-Large Heidi Ganahl, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler, and former state treasurers Walker Stapleton and Mark Hillman.

Tampering with TABOR is expected to be a partisan brawl, since Republicans contend it keeps taxes and the size of government in check. They point to Colorado’s booming economy as proof balancing taxes and government works.

Click (HERE) to read the rest of this story