Apr 16

2021 Colorado Legislature: Bigger Government, Smaller Us

By Christine Burtt, TABOR Foundation Board Member
4/13/2021

 

There are several onerous pieces of legislation in Colorado this year that will negatively impact your standard of living, if not your way of life.

Here are three notable examples.

 

  • HB21-1083, the so-called “Don’t dare to challenge the government’s valuation on your home” bill, was designed to create a chilling effect on homeowners questioning the assessment that calculates their property tax.

 

The bill, which has been signed into law by Governor Polis, was initiated by the Colorado Assessors. It changes existing law that prevented a county assessor from raising taxes on a property if the homeowner challenged an assessment. The previous law gave homeowners an appeals process if they believed their property had been assessed at a value higher than was warranted.

, with the new law, if you challenge the valuation set by the county assessor, the assessor may keep the valuation as stated, or may even increase your property tax. It won’t go down. Continue reading

Apr 06

State-Based Policy Groups Launch New Coalition to Oppose Gas Tax Proposal

State-Based Policy Groups Launch New Coalition to Oppose Gas Tax Proposal

APR 6, 2021 BY AFP

Battle Intensifies After Introduction of Framework, Initial Coalition Expands

 DENVER – Americans for Prosperity-Colorado (AFP-CO) and partners formally launch the Colorado Taxpayers Coalition, a group of local advocacy partners set out to protect Colorado taxpayers by defeating the legislature’s current gas tax proposal and protecting the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).

AFP-CO is also running a statewide campaign that urges Coloradans to contact their elected official to advise against the bill. These efforts included a poll that revealed constituents in several state senate districts strongly oppose the proposal.

 AFP-CO State Director Jesse Mallory issued the following statement: Continue reading

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 18

Here are the new gas and road-usage fees behind Colorado Democrats’ $4 billion transportation plan

The new fees would start in July 2022 to pay for infrastructure projects, efforts to improve air quality and public transportation initiatives

With Pikes Peak looming in the distance, traffic flows along Federal Boulevard in Westminster on May 13, 2020. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado drivers would begin paying a new fee of 2 cents on every gallon of gas they purchase starting in July 2022 under legislation Democratic state lawmakers are expected to introduce in the coming weeks.

That fee, which would not require voter approval, would increase to 8 cents per gallon starting in July 2028 under the proposal, which is part of a $4 billion, 11-year effort to raise and spend money for badly needed transportation projects across the state.

Lawmakers, political groups and business interests have been trying for years, without much luck, to find a transportation funding solution. The proposal, which includes a number of other new road-usage fees, is backed by Gov. Jared Polis and also aims to reduce traffic congestion on Colorado’s roads, expand public transportation and improve air quality by making it easier for people to own electric vehicles and spending millions on environmental initiatives.

“We think this is the time that we absolutely have to get something done and something meaningful,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat. “Not a baby step, but a real meaningful step toward solving the transportation problems that we have in our state.”

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

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):

Mar 05

Fee-funded water enterprise will now go to voters if passed by legislature

 

A new enterprise fund proposed by Republican Sen. Don Coram will go to the voters if it makes it way out of the state legislature.

The bill, that would provide financing to water providers for myriad things, lacked support by some who would otherwise embrace an idea for more revenue to fund water storage in Colorado.

The biggest issue with Senate Bill 21-034, brought by the southwestern Colorado senator, was it proposes a new enterprise fund, funded by a new fee on water that detractors saw as being in conflict with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) if it did not go to the public for a vote.

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

Feb 27

New fee-funded water enterprise bill raises eyebrows; detractors see a disregard for voter consent

DENVER — A bill being sponsored by Republican Sen. Don Coram that would provide financing to water providers for myriad things, lacks support by some who would otherwise support an idea for more revenue to fund water storage in Colorado.

The biggest issue with Senate Bill 21-034, brought by the southwestern Colorado senator, is it proposes a new enterprise fund, funded by a new fee that detractors see as being in conflict with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).

TABOR is amendment to the Colorado Constitution that, among other things, requires voter approval for new or increased taxes, as well as limiting growth of a portion of the state’s budget to a formula of population growth plus inflation.

“We haven’t had a chance to look at the bill yet, so our board hasn’t taken a formal position yet,” said Marty Neilson of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, whose primary goal is to support and protect TABOR. “But just hearing the first sentence, I can tell you it is not something we will support.”

That first sentence in the summary reads: “Concerning the creation of an enterprise that is exempt from the requirements of section 20 of article X of the state constitution to administer a fee-based water resources financing program.”

Section 20 article X is the guiding structure behind TABOR. Continue reading

Feb 23

Americans for Prosperity: Poll finds little support for paying more for gas

The legislature could pass a fee of some sort, but lawmakers would have to refer a tax hike to the ballot, because of the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
 
#TABOR
#ItsYourMoneyNotTheirs
#ThankGodForTABOR
#VoteOnTaxesAndFees
#TABOROn
 
Click (HERE) to read this story about TABOR