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

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

https://gazette.com/opinion/letters-downtown-springs-gets-special-attention-don-t-give-legislature/article_fd7b996e-eb70-11e9-8a16-23c66974a6f9.html

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.

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENTPRIMARY CATEGORY IN WHICH BLOG POST IS PUBLISHED

Oct 07

EDITORIAL: Politicians mismanage funds; don’t reward them with more

EDITORIAL: Politicians mismanage funds; don’t reward them with more

Colorado Capitol

The Colorado state Capitol in Denver.

The political class can never get enough of the private sector’s money. That is why politicians are trying to con voters into passing Proposition CC in November.

Do not give politicians a blank check. They have proven unable to manage what they already have.

Colorado is not a low-tax state where politicians scrape to fund basic services. Our state did not make Kiplinger’s top-10 list of the most tax-friendly states this year, released last week, despite having a one-of-a-kind Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in the state constitution. Weakening this protection, as Proposition CC would do, will only make things worse.

By calling taxes “fees,” and because of Colorado’s booming economy, the state government finds itself awash in surplus revenue. It has so much excess income, estimates anticipate constitutionally mandated returns of nearly $400 million for fiscal year 2020 and 2021.

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

Sep 26

The Democratic agenda came with a big price tag. Now Colorado budget writers worry about paying the bill.

The Democratic agenda came with a big price tag. Now Colorado budget writers worry about paying the bill.

The rising costs of Gov. Jared Polis’ full-day kindergarten program is part of an estimated $100 million in additional costs lawmakers will need to cover

Sep 25

Griswold v. Nat’l Federation of Independent Business—Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights — Summary Judgement

“In November 2018, the TABOR Foundation joined the Colorado Union of Taxpayers and others in filing a “friend-of-the-court” brief.  The lawsuit was brought by the National Federation of Independent Business against the Colorado Secretary of State.  The issue was about whether the fees charged by that government department are excessive and used to cover government activities that should be funded by general fund taxes.

Jim Manley, the attorney who represented the TABOR Foundation et al, commented on the substance and importance of our brief:  “(On September 23) the Colorado Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling against NFIB in its TABOR challenge to the Secretary of State’s business licensing “fees.” The Court’s narrow ruling sidestepped the two issues we addressed in our amicus brief: (1) the proper standard of review for constitutional challenges and (2) the definition of fees vs. taxes. The Court ruled that the business licensing fees were authorized before TABOR’s enactment and—despite changes to the fees since TABOR—the fees were therefore not subject to TABOR’s prospective limits. The ruling reinstates the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the Secretary of State and likely ends the case.”

The TABOR Foundation chairman observed, “This narrow ruling does little mischief to the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights,” said Penn Pfiffner.  He continued, “The Court could have, and should have, used the opportunity to honor the TABOR mandate to rule such that the outcome ‘reasonably restrain(s) most the growth of government’.”

To read the Summary Judgement opinion, click (HERE):

To read the Amicus from the Colorado Supreme Court website, please click (HERE):

Sep 24

In its latest ruling, Colorado Supreme Court once again avoids question at heart of TABOR debate

In its latest ruling, Colorado Supreme Court once again avoids question at heart of TABOR debate

NFIB filed a lawsuit five years ago arguing that fees levied by the secretary of state’s office violated the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. The ruling left them unsatisfied.