As the Colorado Supreme Court will not take up the appeal of the case, then the ruling of the lower Court of Appeals is the final say. That panel found that the TABOR Foundation did not have standing and could not continue the case on the merits. Imagine, taxpayers spend $400 million more each year and they don’t have standing! The Court appears to have dropped any attempt to be true to the Colorado constitution and to respect that citizens are (supposed to be) in charge of their governments.
There has been a major battle brewing in Colorado over the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, so we brought in one of the leading authorities on the subject, Mr. Penn Pfiffner, to talk about it. After a short refresher on the form and function of TABOR (https://youtu.be/GBZOJCsuFwA), Penn discusses the current legal attacks and the defenses being offered.
Understanding TABOR is as easy as it is crucial, so load up on some intellectual ammunition so you can defend your rights as taxpayers when speaking with friends and colleagues who may be unwittingly trying to take them away.
Penn Pfiffner was an early leader and proponent of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and served as Regional Coordinator in the 1986 effort. He served on the TABOR Committee in subsequent years and is the current Chair. He led the opposition campaigns to the anti-TABOR Amendment 59 in 2008 and the tax increase proposal, Proposition 103.
Penn earned a Masters in Finance from CU-Denver. He taught college Economics part-time for thirteen years, at both graduate and undergraduate levels. He has a financial and managerial consulting practice, Construction Economics, LLC. Penn and Karen are the parents of three adult children. He is a veteran, having served as an officer in the Navy.
In regards to the lawsuit we filed to overturn the Hospital Provider tax and the subsequent abomination of SB267, we are in the phase of appealing to the Colorado Supreme Court.
The motions the Court is considering from the Court of Appeals ruling is that none of us has standing to bring these matters before legal review. That means that discussion of the facts of the dispute are not being addressed. Unlike the appellate level, the Supreme Court does not have to accept the case for review.
Our attorneys at Cause of Action filed the petition on time, as we are the petitioners.
The Respondents (The State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Health Care Financing, Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise, Kim Bimestefer, Colorado Department of the Treasury, and Dave Young) filed a Reply brief on January 28th arguing that since none of us pay the bed tax (not true) that the Supreme Court should not take up the case (or any of the substantive issues including $400 million of new taxing authority).
The last action was Lee Steven writing a reply with his reasoned, thorough, and direct arguments, that we certainly have standing for all the other issues which Defendants ignored, and also that we have standing on the tax vs. fee question that started it all.
I believe that we are indeed fortunate to have such an excellent, skilled professional working on our behalf.
All three written arguments referenced in the preceding paragraph are attached for your perusal, as well as posted on the TABOR website (http://thetaborfoundation.org/lega…/hospital-provider-tax/).
Finally, here’s a response from our local legal counsel, William Banta:
“There should be no more replies, responses, or rebuttals.
The next step should be the Supreme Court’s decision, either granting or denying our request for certiorari (reconsideration of the Court of Appeals decision).”
Chairman of the Board of Directors, TABOR Foundation
Do you know the difference between a tax and a fee?
Click the following link to watch TABOR Committee Chairman Penn Pfiffner explain it to Brandon Wark of Free State Colorado.
He also goes in depth to show why Colorado voters should vote YES on Proposition 117.
By Chuck Wibby
In 1992, Colorado voters passed the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR. The amendment to the Colorado Constitution is widely despised by elected officials at every level of government. It is also widely loved by the majority of taxpaying citizens who pay the bills to employ those same elected officials.
Among its other provisions, TABOR contained an exemption for fee-based services that the government provides to citizens. It was a logical concession. After all, if the city wanted to operate a parking lot, it would be impractical to have a vote every time the city wanted to increase the cost to park your car in their lot.
TABOR’s intent was that “government-owned businesses that provide goods or services for a fee or surcharge” are “paid for by the individuals or entities that are purchasing the goods or services.” This is in contrast to “government agencies or programs that provide goods or services that are paid for by tax revenue.” Letting no good deed go unpunished, it didn’t take the state too long to figure out how to take advantage of TABOR’s allowance for fee-based enterprises.
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.
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!
Penn R. Pfiffner
720 Kipling St.
Lakewood, CO 80215
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.