Apr 09

BRITAIN ISN’T THE ONLY PLACE WHERE ELITES TRY TO UNDO BALLOT MEASURES

NATELSON: BRITAIN ISN’T THE ONLY PLACE WHERE ELITES TRY TO UNDO BALLOT MEASURES

Robert Natelson | Senior Fellow, Independence Institute

When British citizens voted to leave the European Union, I doubted the British political establishment would allow that decision to stand. Today that establishment is doing everything it can to undermine the Brexit referendum.

Such conduct is not limited to Britain. In the United States also, government officials have a long history of sabotaging ballot measures they don’t like.

Similarly, in 2015 SCOTUS reversed 30 statewide votes reaffirming — generally by landslide margins — the traditional definition of marriage.

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Mar 08

Colorado hospital fees do not violate TABOR, Denver District Court rules (updated)

Colorado hospital fees do not violate TABOR, Denver District Court rules

The fees have generated more than $4.6 billion over the past decade, according to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

Hospital fees that have generated billions of dollars in Colorado are legal and do not violate Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights, according to a Denver District Court ruling.

The Wednesday ruling found that the Hospital Provider Fee and the subsequent Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Fee are “fees, and not taxes, and therefore are not subject to TABOR,” according to a Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) news release.

The ruling is in favor of the health care policy department and the Colorado Department of the Treasury.

In 2015, the TABOR Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the fees. The hospital provider fee is a charge imposed on hospital stays that other states refer to as a “bed tax.”

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Mar 07

Colorado hospital fees do not violate TABOR, Denver District Court rules

Colorado hospital fees do not violate TABOR, Denver District Court rules

The fees have generated more than $4.6 billion over the past decade, according to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

PUBLISHED: 

Hospital fees that have generated billions of dollars in Colorado are legal and do not violate Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights, according to a Denver District Court ruling.

Colorado hospital fees do not violate TABOR, Denver District Court rules

Mar 07

Democratic lawmakers want to ask voters in 2019 to end TABOR cap, but Polis is not so sure

Democratic lawmakers want to ask voters in 2019 to end TABOR cap, but Polis is not so sure

The measure would amount to the most substantial effort in years to rollback the state’s unique limits on government spending

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Feb 21

Denver Trial Testimony Demonstrates the Need to Protect Nonprofit Donors

The second of two blogs from the Goldwater lead attorney about the Donor Disclosure lawsuit which #TABOR is part of:

https://indefenseofliberty.blog/2019/02/08/denver-trial-testimony-demonstrates-the-need-to-protect-non profit-donors/

Denver Trial Testimony Demonstrates the Need to Protect Nonprofit Donors

by Matt Miller
February 8, 2019

A recently concluded trial in Denver, Colorado, centered on the right of 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) nonprofit groups to protect their donors from being put on a government list and having their addresses, occupations, and employers published on the Internet. The Goldwater Institute brought the case on behalf of two Colorado nonprofits—the Colorado Union of Taxpayers Foundation and the TABOR Committee—to challenge a Denver ordinance that requires groups spending more than $500 to support or oppose a Denver ballot measure to disclose to the government the personal information of anyone who gave them money to communicate with voters. Continue reading

Feb 21

Colorado Nonprofits Will Appeal Ruling That Endangers Donor Privacy

The first of two blogs from the Goldwater lead attorney about the Donor Disclosure lawsuit which TABOR is part of:
 

by Matt Miller

February 14, 2019

Last week, the Goldwater Institute represented two nonprofit organizations—the Colorado Union of Taxpayers Foundation and the TABOR Committee—in a Denver bench trial in Denver, Colorado with implications for privacy, free speech, and the public’s “right to know” the identities, occupations, and employers of nonprofit donors. As I discussed last week, the centerpiece of the trial was testimony from four different individuals who have worked in the nonprofit world for decades—testimony that centered on various forms of ideological harassment that each of them has endured over the years. I won’t recount that testimony here since it was the central element of my earlier post, but suffice it to say that the testimony was vivid, compelling, and painted a troubling picture of what some nonprofit employees endure at the hands of people who disagree with them.

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Feb 15

TABOR Repeal Initiative Denied a Title

TABOR Committee members,

The TABOR Committee benefits from having two attorneys staying on top of a new threat to TABOR.  One of our Board members, Rebecca Sopkin, and our corporate attorney, Bill Banta, have been watching the developments of a proposed measure that would repeal TABOR in its entirety.  The initiated ballot issue would have to collect signatures first before going on this fall’s ballot.  The first Title-Setting Board hearing rejected the proposal because it violated the single-subject requirement.  After all, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights deals, among other things, with taxing limits on all levels of government, the same for spending limits, specific election requirements, notification requirements, emergency spending and state mandates.  The proponents of the measure appealed the initial single-subject ruling, asking for a rehearing.  On February 6, at the rehearing, the Title Board upheld its prior decision. Therefore, no title is presently approved for the repeal initiative.

The system is set up to move along faster than normal for any further appeals.  The proponents (Carol Hedges and Steve Briggs) may appeal directly to the Colorado Supreme Court to reverse the Title Board’s decision.  That skips hearings at the trial court level and the Appellate Court level.  There is no automated system to notify objectors (i.e., the TABOR Committee) if that appeal is filed, but our volunteers will keep monitoring for further developments.

 

 

Feb 15

Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights should be strengthened, not repealed

Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights should be strengthened, not repealed

JAY STOOKSBERRY

On Jan. 15, a briefly worded initiative was presented to the Colorado Title Board for consideration to be placed on the 2020 ballot. The brevity of the proposal was commendable. Five words was all it needed: “TABOR – Repeal (Full TABOR Repeal).” Though speculative at this point, defenders of Article X Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution — better known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) — should prepare for a fight in 2020.

Well before TABOR became law in 1992, opponents concocted every possible scenario as to how this new constitutional amendment would lead to fiscal armageddon in Colorado. Nearly three decades after its passing, most of this hyperbole — as is the case for most hyperbole — never materialized.

Where is Colorado from a fiscal perspective? According to the States Project, Colorado ranks 30th in the country for total state debt (including unfunded liabilities) as a percentage of gross state product. The Mercatus Center ranks our state as 28th in the nation regarding a combination of solvency for cash, budget, long-run spending, service-level flexibility, and unfunded liabilities. U.S. News ranked Colorado 31st in fiscal stability.

It would seem Colorado is middle of the pack at best. TABOR did not ruin our state’s ability to manage the general fund.

Contrary to popular wisdom of the Chicken Littles who warned about how damaging it would be to Colorado, TABOR doesn’t need to be repealed; it needs to be strengthened. Continue reading