Dec 03

OPINION | Family-leave ‘fee’ (spelled t-a-x) is another end-run on TABOR

It looks like @ColoradoDems in the #coleg are moving “full steam ahead” on state-sponsored #PaidFamilyLeave. But watch how they decide to fund it. They’ll prob create a new tax w/out #TABOR vote – & call it a FEE. My latest for @colo_politics

OPINION | Family-leave ‘fee’ (spelled t-a-x) is another end-run on TABOR

  • Jimmy Sengenberger

There are a couple of federal government programs that have been around for decades. You might have heard of them: Social Security and Medicare.

You might also know that these programs are funded by payroll taxes.  If you’re an employee working at a company, then the contribution is “split” 50/50 between you and your employer.  Your portion is withheld and sent to the government each paycheck.  If you’re self-employed, you must pay the full amount yourself.  According to the IRS, the tax rates total 12.4% and 2.9% for social security and Medicare, respectively.

You’ll notice that the creators of these programs were clear they’d be funded with a payroll tax on both employees and employers.  They didn’t play word games.  They were upfront that every working American would be taxed a percentage of their income to support Social Security and Medicare.

Colorado Democrats are moving “full steam ahead” to create a new, statewide paid family leave (PFL) fund.  This program would enable employees to receive “12 weeks of paid family leave for pregnancies, infant or sick relative care, or recovery from illness.”

The 2020 bill is still being written following input from a commission tasked with proposing ideas.  But if the fund ends up being financed in a way that is similar to the 2019 version’s formula, it would involve a split — perhaps 60/40 — between employees and employers.

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


Nov 29

What’s next after the failure of Proposition CC?

Democrats in the Colorado legislature will sacrifice parts of their agenda or find politically risky ways to pay for it

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We could use your help, talents, and skills defending the gold standard, Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).


Now that Proposition CC has gone down in flames, what will progressives do next to sabotage TABOR?
Aren’t you sick and tired on politicians trying to weasel their way out of, or ignoring, TABOR?
We need to do something about it, right?
Well then, why not you?
Yes, you read that right.
Why not?  It’s a great time to get involved.
If not you, then who?
We could use your help, talents, and skills defending the gold standard, Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).
We’re looking forward to having you help Colorado.
It’s easy to join.
See below on how you can make a difference.




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Nov 06

The next fiscal fight in Colorado starts now: A bid to repeal TABOR and one to raise taxes on top earners

The defeat of Proposition CC on the 2019 ballot is not deterring a movement by liberal groups for a graduated income tax system

Colorado voters rejected a bid to remove the spending caps in the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights — but the fiscal fight is only expected to get more intense in the next year.

One interest group is considering a repeal of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and another is testing ideas for a graduated tax system that increases rates for the wealthy. Both are eyeing the 2020 ballot and appear undeterred by Proposition CC’s defeat this year.

“Whatever we do next must be bold enough to drown out the alarmists. That work begins today,” said Scott Wasserman at the Bell Policy Center, the organization seeking to overhaul the tax system, in a statement.

“If we truly want to build a state that works for everyone, then we need to amend the constitution,” added Carol Hedges at the Colorado Fiscal Institute, which is working to unwind TABOR.

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

Oct 16

Four reasons to vote no on Proposition CC

Four reasons to vote no on Proposition CC

There are many reasons to vote no on Proposition CC, but for the sake of brevity, I will stick with the basics.

Reason No. 1: It does raise taxes.

While the first three words of the ballot language for Proposition CC are “Without raising taxes,” this simply isn’t true. And it’s hard to understand how proponents can keep a straight face with this one. If the state owes us money in the form of a refund because we’ve overpaid our taxes, and if they don’t give us the refund, we will in fact pay more taxes than we would have without Proposition CC. Period. Continue reading

Oct 15

Mike Rosen: NO on Proposition CC, YES on Proposition DD

Mike Rosen: NO on Proposition CC, YES on Proposition DD

Proposition CC – Retaining State Government revenue. VOTE NO.

A “yes” vote would allow the state to retain any surplus of revenues in excess of spending not only in fiscal year 2018-2019 but in all years to come. A “no” vote requires the state to refund budget surpluses to taxpayers as now required under current law.

In the Colorado Constitution, The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) limits state government spending and taxation through a formula tied to population growth and inflation. Direct voter approval is required to change the limit. Article X, Section 20 (7) (d) reads: “If revenue from sources not excluded from fiscal year spending exceeds these limits in dollars for that fiscal year, the excess shall be refunded in the next fiscal year unless voters approve a revenue change as an offset.”

Through that last clause, Prop CC is asking voters to give up their prospective TABOR refunds permanently. It would spend those budget surpluses in equal shares on K-12 education, higher education and transportation without specifying how the money will be spent within those categories, leaving that to legislative whims now and in the future. Look at it this way: state government spending on K-12 in FY 2018-2019 exceeded $7 billion. Eliminating taxpayer refunds would direct an additional $103 million to K-12 education starting in FY 2020-2021. Seven billion is seven thousand million. One hundred million is a comparative drop in the bucket.

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

Oct 13

Conservative think tank opposes tax refund, sports betting ballot measures

Conservative think tank opposes tax refund, sports betting ballot measures

FILE - Denver Vote
A voter casts her ballot at the Denver Elections Division Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Denver.

The think tank, part of Colorado Christian University, says it’s opposing Propositions CC and DD because they aren’t fiscally responsible and don’t help families in the state. The state constitution’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) requires voter approval for all tax increases.

“Colorado is more free, families are stronger, and our state budget is healthier if both Proposition CC and Proposition DD are rejected,” Centennial Institute Director Jeff Hunt said.

When state government collects revenue above its spending cap, TABOR requires that money to be refunded back to taxpayers. Proposition CC asks voters to allow state government to permanently keep the occasional tax refunds.

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

Oct 13

Don’t give Legislature a blank check


In your upcoming mail ballot you will be asked to give the state of Colorado a blank check. Don’t be tricked into believing the initial language “without raising taxes…”

Proposition CC is a tax increase forever. Colorado taxpayers will no longer receive (forever) any of their tax rebates (refunds) of their hard earned money if Proposition CC passes.

Colorado Legislature has tricked us in the past by saying requested tax increases would fund roads, bridges, education, teacher pay, and on and on, but when our taxpayer money was spent, the Legislature decided to divert it elsewhere due to lobby and special interest groups pressure. The Legislature has consistently broken promises to Colorado voters. Recently, Colorado voters rejected 13 ballot measures at the state level by a wide margin. Because Colorado voters defeated the Colorado Legislature’s request for more funds, the Legislature now proposes to “trick” Colorado voters again.

This Proposition will “gut” the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (also known as TABOR). The Taxpayer Bill of Rights requires voter approval for any increase in taxes or debt. This is our Taxpayer Bill of Rights, not the Legislature’s, do not vote to give it away forever.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights has been the only way voters have kept Colorado from spending taxpayer funds to the maximum, as done in California.

Proposition CC will forever remove Colorado seniors and veterans property tax exemptions. This will put seniors and veterans at risk, and place more pressure on local budgets.

Colorado communities have individually voted property tax increases to fund local schools and other services such as fire departments (we can locally determine if funds are being spent as represented), and if Proposition CC passes, those seniors and veterans on fixed incomes will have a difficulty paying local property tax bills.

Colorado has a top ranked economy. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights has contributed to Colorado’s success. Colorado has one of the lowest tax rates in the country providing a positive location for business investment and jobs.

If our Taxpayer Bill of Rights is repealed, over $1.7 billion collected over the next 3 years will not be refunded to Colorado taxpayers.

The Legislature already has a $32.5 billion budget… enough is enough! This budget automatically increases with population and inflation. The Legislature has enough of our money.

The Legislature must be held to account and budget just as we do with our personal budgets.

Mary Ann Smith

Pagosa Springs

Oct 13

Proposition CC explained: What it means to end the spending caps in TABOR and the money at stake

Proposition CC explained: What it means to end the spending caps in TABOR and the money at stake

The debate for Prop. CC involves whether to keep TABOR refunds, or send the tax dollars to three key areas: education, colleges and transportation.