Apr 22

Ending Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds a deservedly tough sell to voters

Sharf: Ending Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds a deservedly tough sell to voters

TABOR opponents, bored with chipping away at the law’s foundations, have broken out the chainsaws. On the one hand, legislative Democrats are ignoring the plain language of TABOR and unilaterally enacting a universal income tax increase without a statewide vote, by calling it a “fee.”

Photo and copyright: Tony’s Takes

And on the other hand, they are proposing a ballot referendum to waive the law’s taxation restrictions. According to TABOR, any increase in general revenue above the previous year’s plus inflation and population increase must be refunded to the people. House Bill 19-1257 would remove that restriction, allowing the state to keep any and all tax revenue, forever.

In return, the money that was kept would go to transportation, transit, public education, and higher education. Theoretically, anyway. Such a deal might seem to have some superficial appeal to Colorado voters, but recent experience strongly suggests this may be a harder sell than proponents expect.

We don’t know where Referendum C dollars go

HB 1257 is Referendum C on steroids. In 2005, voters approved a temporary “time-out” from TABOR’s spending restrictions, allowing the baseline to grow at the inflation plus population formula regardless of what revenues actually did. Referendum C has allowed the state to keep about $17 billion, including over $1.2 billion in the last fiscal year alone.

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Apr 21

The Reagan Club Hosted Penn Pfiffner To Discuss The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights

The Reagan Club of Colorado was glad to host Penn Pfiffner at April’s meeting to talk about the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. TABOR has kept Colorado fiscally healthy, but look for it to come under assault by the Democrats this year. Learn more about the work that The TABOR Foundation and TABOR Committee do at http://thetaborfoundation.org/.

Apr 20

Guest Opinion: Roads are the losers in 2019 Colorado Legislature

Guest Opinion: Roads are the losers in 2019 Colorado Legislature

Lindsey Singer
Guest Opinion

Fixing the crumbling and crowded roads across our state has been a talking point for politicians in Colorado for years, as the project backlog has grown to more than $9 billion.

Democrats who control the purse in the legislature don’t seem to feel any urgency to fix the funding issues creating the backlog. In his first address to the General Assembly, Governor Polis spent mere seconds talking about the underfunded transportation infrastructure, offering no real solution.

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Apr 18

Fiscal conservatives see priority problem in Colorado’s new budget

Fiscal conservatives see priority problem in Colorado’s new budget

FILE - Colorado State Capitol
The Colorado State Capitol in Denver, Colorado.

Colorado lawmakers last week approved a $32.5 billion budget to fund the government, but not everyone is cheering. 

The new budget includes $300 million for road funding, which took much negotiating between majority Democrats and minority Republicans. It also includes $175 million for full-day kindergarten, less than Gov. Jared Polis requested, and a 3 percent raise for state employees.

Budget writers also had to pull $40 million from some state reserve funds.

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Apr 17

Last-Ditch Effort To Jump-Start Colorado Sports Betting Afoot In Legislature

Last-Ditch Effort To Jump-Start Colorado Sports Betting Afoot In Legislature

Colorado sports betting

It’s been nearly a year since Colorado lawmakers first discussed the possibility of legal sports betting in public, and the time for action has come.

This week, casino operators had the chance to offer feedback on preliminary language for a new CO sports betting bill. Reviewed by Legal Sports Report, the draft being circulated includes provisions for both physical sportsbooks and statewide mobile betting under a manageable tax structure.

Considering the bill has yet to be introduced, however, time is running a bit tight. The legislature adjourns for the year on May 3.

Colorado sports betting bill draft

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Apr 09

Colorado Democrats look to pass more progressive legislation with four weeks left in session

Colorado Democrats look to pass more progressive legislation with four weeks left in session

FILE - Colorado State Capitol
The Colorado State Capitol in Denver, Colorado.

With four weeks left in Colorado’s legislative session, Democrats in the legislature hope to pass several more pieces of key progressive legislation. 

The Democratic-controlled legislature has had little trouble passing several controversial bills, leading to Republicans and grassroots groups calling for voters to recall some of the lawmakers behind the pieces of legislation that opponents say don’t represent the views of citizens.

Democrats control both chambers of the General Assembly, and Democratic Gov. Jared Polis supports a vast majority of legislation Democratic lawmakers have passed or plan on passing.

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Mar 10

Democrats won’t leave TABOR alone

Democrats won’t leave TABOR alone

Are you tired of voting at the polls to keep Democrats from taking your hard earned money?

Well, you may have to do it again with Democrats wanting to take another swing at TABOR.

According to the Colorado Sun, Democrat lawmakers want voters to permanently set aside spending caps in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

House Speaker KC Becker, from Boulder, is drafting the measure. Becker at a town hall meeting pleaded, “I’m asking voters ‘Can you let the state keep the revenue we are already collecting?’”

Translation: We’re entitled to keep more of the money we are stealing from you.

The measure would allow the state to keep as much as $960 million in your tax dollars through June 2020.

What don’t these Democrats understand?

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Mar 08

Colorado hospital fees do not violate TABOR, Denver District Court rules (updated)

Colorado hospital fees do not violate TABOR, Denver District Court rules

The fees have generated more than $4.6 billion over the past decade, according to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

Hospital fees that have generated billions of dollars in Colorado are legal and do not violate Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights, according to a Denver District Court ruling.

The Wednesday ruling found that the Hospital Provider Fee and the subsequent Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Fee are “fees, and not taxes, and therefore are not subject to TABOR,” according to a Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) news release.

The ruling is in favor of the health care policy department and the Colorado Department of the Treasury.

In 2015, the TABOR Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the fees. The hospital provider fee is a charge imposed on hospital stays that other states refer to as a “bed tax.”

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Mar 07

Democratic lawmakers want to ask voters in 2019 to end TABOR cap, but Polis is not so sure

Democratic lawmakers want to ask voters in 2019 to end TABOR cap, but Polis is not so sure

The measure would amount to the most substantial effort in years to rollback the state’s unique limits on government spending

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