Hickenlooper begins new state tour to sell TABOR fix
Continues push to exempt Colorado’s hospital provider fee
By John Frank
The Denver Post
Posted: 07/31/2015 06:05:35 PM MDT
(Associated Press file)
LEADVILLE — On the first day of a new statewide tour, Gov. John Hickenlooper found an appropriate venue in this high mountain town for his push to revamp how the state spends money.
The Democrat stood on stage at the historic Tabor Opera House in Leadville and made a lengthy pitch for an overhaul to TABOR — the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
Hickenlooper wants to exempt the hospital provider fee from state revenue collections under TABOR because it pushes Colorado over the constitutional cap, prompting taxpayer refunds next year even as the state struggles to adequately fund priority areas.
To read the rest of this article, click the following link:
Democrats want to get rid of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
How does TABOR protect your personal and business interests?
Is there a legal difference between a “tax” and a “fee”?
What difference does it make to your bottom line?
William Perry Pendley is president of Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), which defends constitutional liberties and the rule of law. His book, Sagebrush Rebel, Reagan’s Battle with Environmental Extremists and Why It Matters Today continues to draw rave reviews.
MSLF filed four lawsuits in defense of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). One was rejected by the Colorado Supreme Court, but two remain alive, and another was filed just days ago. Two of the cases ask the Supreme Court of Colorado to rule on whether the words “tax” and “fee” have legal meanings, or can they be used interchangeably to collect revenue without the consent of voters?
You need not be a member to attend. Lunch is $25 for non-members, $20 for members and $10 for students. A portion of the lunch fee goes toward the CRBC Small Donor Committee or the CRBC Political Committee to support Republican candidates in the 2016 elections.
RSVP@smallbizgop.com (not required, but appreciated).
Colorado Republican Business Coalition Monthly Luncheon
Friday, July 17 from 11:30am – 1pm
Brooklyn’s at the Pepsi Center
941 Auraria Parkway, Denver
TABOR Committee members and TABOR friends,
The final of three lawsuit developments:
Last Friday, the TABOR Foundation filed a new lawsuit. The legal firm representing us is Mountain States Legal Foundation.
The legislature responded in 2009 to an incentive offered by the federal government. The Medicaid program prompted states to impose a new tax (the word the Medicaid program uses). Revenues received would be matched and the funds made available to pay (some) hospitals for care of indigent people who otherwise would leave the hospitals uncompensated. As the legislation was moving forward, a memo was generated at the Capitol warning legislators that if the charges were used ONLY for the hospital match, they could qualify as a fee (I would dispute that, but that’s not the issue at hand). Legislators were warned that if the revenues were used instead for general fund purposes, the charge would definitely be a tax and subject to a TABOR vote.
In three different fiscal years, the legislature diverted some portion of those funds for general appropriations. Yet, no TABOR prior voter approval was ever obtained, in violation of the TABOR provision in the Colorado Constitution.
The TABOR Committee last fall asked the Hickenlooper administration to address the breach and to negotiate a solution in good faith. The first meeting was put off until well after the legislative session started, and promises to raise the issue within the Governor’s Council and communicate back were not fulfilled. Rather, Governor Hickenlooper went public with a scheme to move the whole thing off budget, as if the tax was handled by a government business!
Penn R. Pfiffner
Chairman, TABOR Committee