We could use your help, talents, and skills defending the gold standard, Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).

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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.

 

 

 

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Nov 04

Norquist & Gleason: Fate our nation’s most important taxpayer protection measure hangs in the balance


The 2020 presidential campaign is dominating media coverage, but in just a few days, on Nov. 5, the voters (not a poll) of the battleground state of Colorado will determine the future of the nation’s strongest and most effective tax and expenditure limitation measure, known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR).

Approved by more than 53 percent of voters in 1992, Colorado’s TABOR mandates that state revenue cannot grow faster than the combined rate of inflation and population growth. State revenue collected in excess of the TABOR cap is refunded to taxpayers. TABOR also requires lawmakers to get voter approval for all tax increases.

It is projected that Colorado state government will have to refund roughly $500 million to Colorado taxpayers in 2020 due to revenue collections coming in above the TABOR cap. The progressive Democrats who run Colorado’s state legislature and Democratic Gov. Jared Polis are working to prevent those and all future refunds from happening with a measure referred to the November 2019 ballot that seeks to kill the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Proposition CC, which will appear on the statewide ballot in Colorado this fall, asks Colorado voters to allow state government to keep money that is supposed to be sent back to taxpayers in accordance with TABOR. Passage of Proposition CC would mean the end of the TABOR and the result would be a significantly higher tax burden in perpetuity for individuals, families, and employers across Colorado.

 

 

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

Oct 17

Dark money and big donors fuel the ballot battle over Proposition CC in Colorado

Dark money and big donors fuel the ballot battle over Proposition CC in Colorado

The 2019 election attracts millions in money from nonprofits, whose donors remain hidden despite a new state disclosure law

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

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 08

How Colorado officials manipulate ballot language to get what they want: The case of JeffCo Issue 1A

How Colorado officials manipulate ballot language to get what they want: The case of JeffCo Issue 1A

Some people bemoan the lack of trust in government officials. Those people should read more. They could start by learning how many of Colorado’s officials ruthlessly manipulate ballot language to mislead voters and skew election results.

Jefferson County’s Ballot Issue 1A—up for a vote next month—is a case in point.

Issue 1A is a referendum under the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). TABOR requires officials to ask voter permission, via referendum, for several kinds of fiscal decisions. The most important are (1) raising taxes, (2) creating debt, and (3) waiving caps on government spending (which TABOR sometimes confusingly calls “revenue”).

Knowing that government officials sometimes try to manipulate elections, the TABOR drafters inserted rules governing how tax and debt issues appear on the ballot. But they omitted similar rules for elections to waive spending caps.

The reasons for the omission are not clear. Perhaps it was an oversight. Or perhaps the drafters thought rules were unnecessary, because waivers were to last a maximum of four years. If a waiver was abused, the abuse would soon be over and voters could hold the guilty officials accountable.

But in 2002, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a case seriously misinterpreting TABOR. The court ruled that once the voters in a particular locale approve a spending cap waiver, the waiver does not necessarily expire. The waiver may specify five years, or seven, or ten. If it does not contain an ending date, the waiver lasts forever. TABOR spending caps never apply in that locale again.

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

Oct 08

“Better government for you: Not hiding elections!”

“Better government for you:  Not hiding elections!”

October 7, 2019

There is much to like in the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), and it’s good to remember that it includes good government provisions that improve election procedures.

None of us want to put up with elected officials holding a surprise election for voter approval of a government’s action.  Yet, there were times in the past in which the public was not adequately informed about an election.  The elected officials would list it in a newspaper’s Public Notices section, and of course had to put the ballot measure into the government’s official record.  But that was insufficient to let voters know what was going on, and by doing the minimum possible to notify voters, some governments were able to keep the elections low profile.  The intent of suppressing turnout was so that only those people heavily invested in passage would participate.  The normal citizen, the rank-and-file taxpayer, might miss a special election, allowing others to vote in, say, a new debt issue or increase a tax rate.

The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights corrected that situation.  The constitutional measure pertains to all governments in Colorado, even small special districts that don’t command much attention.

When bringing an issue before the voters, TABOR requires that “At least 30 days before a ballot issue election, districts shall mail …. a titled notice ….. addressed to ‘All Registered Voters’ at each address of one or more active registered electors.   …. Titles shall have this order of preference ‘NOTICE OF ELECTION TO INCREASE TAXES (or) TO INCREASE DEBT….

The paragraph contains even more specifics, as it was carefully crafted to prevent elected officers from circumventing it.  This important constitutional provision improves the operations of all governments in our state and protects the taxpayer in ways beyond just voting on tax rates.

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.