Jan 16

Colorado progressives have a new target in their pursuit of a tax overhaul: the rich. Here’s why:

A host of proposed ballot measures for 2020 and proposals at the state Capitol are putting Colorado’s uneven tax system in the spotlight

Jan 08

IN RESPONSE | Pols trample on TABOR; let’s demand our petition rights

Douglas Bruce

Re: “Colorado must draw a line between ‘tax’ and ‘fee,’ ” Jan. 6.

As TABOR’s author, I fought many traps our foes set for us. We went down their rabbit trail of theoretical debates … twice.

The 1988 TABOR covered “fees” that yearly increase above inflation. Foes used examples like library card fees increasing 10%, which may be a quarter. “We can’t vote all the time” on trivial sums.

The 1990 fight allowed increases rounded up to the next dollar. Same result. We can’t set a limit — say, $50 million — on a fee increase; they will simply increase 50 fees $40 million each. They will also increase licenses, permits, etc.

In 1992, we switched “fee v. tax ” details for revenue spending limits. The Establishment took OUR bait. The issue was our right to vote at all, and we won. Set the agenda and frame the issue, and you win the debate.

Our foes then violated TABOR for 28 years, by saying road and bridge “fees” are for “enterprises,” though they clearly violate the definition. Ditto hospital provider fees, the Dirty Dozen in 2009, and dozens more.

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

Jan 07

Lawmakers Agree Colorado’s Roads Need More TLC. They Definitely Don’t Agree On How To Pay For It

By Nathaniel Minor January 6, 2020

Hart Van Denburg/CPR NewsInterstate 70 Traffic in Mt. Vernon Canyon Friday Aug. 9, 2019

Lawmakers appear to have bipartisan agreement at the state Capitol that Colorado’s transportation system needs a serious infusion of money.

But with the 2020 session poised to kick off later this week, both sides are still far apart about where that should come from: new revenue, or reprioritizing the existing budget.

“I can absolutely tell you, 100 percent, we will not be able to meet our transportation needs without new funding sources,” House Speaker K.C. Becker said Monday at a legislative preview breakfast sponsored by Commuting Solutions, a Louisville, Colorado-based group that advocates for multi-modal transportation.

The group supported the last few attempts to raise new revenue — including 2018’s sales tax-raising Proposition 110 and 2019’s Proposition CC, which would have redirected taxpayer refunds to roads and schools. Voters rejected both of them.

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

Jan 06

FEEDBACK | Colorado must draw a line between ‘tax’ and ‘fee’

Ever since TABOR (the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights) was enacted in 1992, our courts and legislature have been ignoring the large animal in the room. Namely, the difference between a “tax” and a “fee.” Some things seem logical. Such as a “drivers’ license fee” versus a “property tax.” This seems logical until someone wants to call the property tax a “homeowner’s fee.” Should that occur, the cost of owning a home could skyrocket completely against the intent of the TABOR law.

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

Jan 02

SLOAN | To tone-deaf tax hikers, ‘no’ translates to try, try again

This year’s defeat of Proposition CC was a bitter experience for the state’s Democrats and liberal groups, but apparently not a didactic one, at least for the latter. Proposals are already in the works for some new iterations of the ubiquitous tax-increase ballot measures which crop up every second election or so, just to see if perseverance will ultimately win out over fiscal literacy.

Most of the proposals are conjured up by groups like the leftist Colorado Fiscal Institute, which houses some presumably very bright people whose economic analysis nevertheless boils down invariably to tugging on the General Assembly’s sleeve and pointing at someone else’s wallet.

Carol Hedges, executive director of CFI, said in an interview in some other publication that “what I took away from Prop. CC was that was not the solution.” Clearly. She goes on to say “that solution didn’t address the concerns of folks who voted in the election, and we have an obligation to solve those problems.”

What problems are those, exactly?

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

Happy New Year From Your Colorado TABOR Foundation!

Featured

By a vote of 55% to 45%, you helped defeat Prop CC to remove TABOR spending limits, but they’re at it again.

Anti-TABOR activists are already testing ballot language for a 2020 initiative to unwind your Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. With a high Democratic voter turnout, they see next year’s election as their chance to amend the State Constitution to give government taxing authority without a vote of the people.

The TABOR Foundation educates voters on how the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights protects their livelihood and why it matters to their family’s future.

We give seminars, media interviews, social media updates, and we’re a primary contact for citizens asking for help when their local jurisdictions violate TABOR mandates.  Importantly, we engage in legal action to protect TABOR.

Defending freedom costs time – and money. We need more help. What can you do to help us?

Please send your donation of $50, $100, $150 or more. Checks payable to TABOR Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, may be tax deductible as allowed by law.

And, we welcome your service with our Board of Directors, Speakers Bureau, or in some other capacity.  Please call me to talk about being more involved.  Thanks!

 

Sincerely,

Penn R. Pfiffner
Chairman
303-233-7731

TABOR Foundation
720 Kipling St.
Lakewood, CO 80215
www.thetaborfoundation.org 

Dec 12

In Two Blue States, Voters Back Democrats, But Show a Wariness Toward Taxes

A lawn sign urges voters to oppose Proposition CC, which would have relaxed a Colorado law that restricts the state's taxing power. Voters rejected the measure in November.

A lawn sign urges voters to oppose Proposition CC, which would have relaxed a Colorado law that restricts the state’s taxing power. Voters rejected the measure in November. AP PHOTO/DAVID ZALUBOWSKI

In Colorado and Washington, residents this fall voted to either constrain state tax revenues or cut fees, even as Democratic lawmakers argue the money is needed to support education and transportation programs.

Colorado voters during the past two elections have made clear that while they’re willing to back Democratic candidates, they’re reluctant to give them greater taxing power to help carry out their agendas.

That’s even as progressives argue that funding is falling short in areas like education and transportation. Last month, Coloradans kept up the pattern, rejecting a ballot measure that would have relaxed limits on the amount of tax collections that the state government can keep.

Further west, residents in another left-leaning state, Washington, also voted in November to crimp government revenues. Voters approved a ballot initiative to cap the cost of vehicle registration fees, or “car tabs,” which help pay for transit and other transportation programs.

“I think you could say it’s an anti-tax vote, clearly,” said Rep. Jake Fey, a Tacoma-area Democrat who chairs the Washington state House Transportation Committee.

In both places, the election results show how there can be limits to the appetite people have for paying more money for public services and infrastructure—even when a majority of a state’s voters are willing to support Democrats who tend to embrace more progressive platforms, which often involve bigger government.

The measures also highlight the complications and uncertainty that can arise when making tax policy at the ballot box, as well as some unique facets of each state’s tax structure.

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

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

Continue reading