Legislators find way to restore pot-tax funding to RTD, museums
A RTD train sits at the corporate office, located between the Evans and Broadway stations.
By Ed Sealover – Reporter, Denver Business Journal
Jan 30, 2018
Regional Transportation District trains, Scientific and Cultural Facilities District museums and other beneficiaries of special-district funding soon will be on a path to again receive the revenues from retail marijuana sales that they’d been losing since July.
Colorado senators on Tuesday approved a “fix” for the language that has left those districts unable to collect sales taxes for cannabis sales within their district since shortly after an omnibus funding bill from the 2017 session was signed into law. Affected organizations have warned that while the problem has not led to program cuts yet, it could do so in the future if it’s not remedied.
The fix to the error made in Senate Bill 267 is not one with unanimous support, having passed to the House Tuesday on a final vote of 24-10. Republican leaders warned not only that they feel the bill is unconstitutional, but that districts that re-start the collection of marijuana taxes without a vote of the people may be challenged in court.
Still, the organizations likely to begin receiving more money in the near future cheered Thursday’s vote to pass Senate Bill 88 out of the Republican-majority Senate and onto the Democrat-led House, where leaders have expressed support for the fix.
“Right now we’ve been able to absorb that loss of revenue. But long-term it’s definitely going to affect what we’re able to do,” said Scott Reed, assistant general manager for communications at RTD, which has lost about $500,000 a month. “This is a step in the right direction to correct the inadvertent mistake from Senate Bill 267.” Continue reading
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 Friends and Supporters,
Here is an update regarding the lawsuit the TABOR Foundation filed to stop the new taxes RTD imposed without voter approval. The last we reported was that Judge Bruce Jones ruled against us, saying in essence that the legislature can change the taxes for RTD as long as an implausibly broad definition of existing taxes is met.
The legal firm representing us (for free!) is Mountain States Legal Foundation. The attorney reviewed the Ruling and let us know that his organization would be willing to appeal on our behalf. In March, your Board of Directors voted to authorize the TABOR Foundation to follow through with Mountain States as far as we can in order to win. The attorney, Jeffrey McCoy, timely filed a Notice of Appeal. That’s where the case rests now. Continue reading
Colorado lawmakers begin a mad dash to the finish next week with more than a dozen significant bills in limbo and the session’s clock set to expire.
The final flurry before the May 6 adjournment is typical each session, but this year it is complicated by a divided legislature seeking elusive common ground on a wide range of issues and a series of late bills with huge implications.
The new bills include a repeal of the sales tax on soft drinks, a new$3.5 billion transportation bonds package, two resolutions to cut the length of the legislative session, an opt-out for mail ballots, the renewal of a state consumer watchdog and a ballot measure on how to spend $58 million of marijuana taxes.
To read the rest of this article, click the following link:
The TABOR Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the Regional Transportation District and the Science and Cultural Facilities District for their violations of TABOR. The first court appearance will be on Monday, February 2 at 2:30 in courtroom 424 in the City and County Building (1437 Bannock St, Denver, 80202). It would be a great show of support to have friends of TABOR present for at least part of the proceedings. If anyone is able to attend, it would be good to know that ahead of the hearing on Monday.
(To refresh your memory, this is what the lawsuit is about)
TABOR group sues 2 special districts — RTD, SCFD — over new tax
By Monte Whaley
The Denver Post
The nonprofit TABOR Foundation is suing to stop the Regional Transportation District and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District from collecting sales tax on food, beverages, cigarettes, advertising materials and food containers.
The foundation filed a request for preliminary injunction Thursday in Jefferson County District Court, asking that the districts be blocked from collecting the tax starting Jan. 1, as allowed by a new state law.
House Bill 1272 lifted exemptions on items the districts could tax. Previously, sales of food, beverages, cigarettes, advertising materials and food containers were off limits to RTD and SCFD.
The tax is expected to net $2.7 million for RTD and $270,000 for SCFD next year, according to the complaint. Continue reading
Dear Friends of TABOR:
Attached is the final draft of the brief we filed today, along with the exhibits we attached to the brief in RTD/SCFD Case filing 11.21
Reply in Support of MSJ.final.final
Exhibit L by North Suburban Republican Forum
Friends of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights,
Your TABOR Committee has a lot of irons in the fire, so I thought to take inventory:
The lawsuit alleging TABOR unconstitutional is Kerr vs. Hickenlooper. You might recall that a 3-judge appellate panel of the federal 10th Circuit found the trial could proceed. In a direct and forceful response, the Attorney General’s Office asked for an appellate review by the entire Court (“en banc”). From the opening salvo:
This case involves questions of exceptional importance: whether three state legislatorsmay enlist the federal judiciary to take sides in their dispute with the state’s constitution, its governor, and its people over the proper role of direct democracy. A case involving more fundamental issues about the proper role of the federal courts in a system of horizontally and vertically divided power is hard to imagine. If the panel decision stands, this Circuit will be alone in giving federal judges the power to decide that some laws are unconstitutional because they are too democratic.
The panel reached two holdings, each of which is unique among the circuits and conflicts with Supreme Court precedent….. Continue reading