Apr 12

If a candidate running for political office wants to abolish TABOR, that candidate doesn’t deserve your support or more importantly, your vote.

If a candidate running for political office wants to abolish TABOR, that candidate doesn’t deserve your support or more importantly, your vote.

Tell them, “See Ya!!!!”

“’SEE YA’ TABOR Some gubernatorial candidates said at a debate Monday they wanted to repeal TABOR, a constitutional amendment that affects school funding.” KUNC

https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/co/2018/04/11/rise-shine-canon-city-district-is-the-latest-to-consider-four-day-week/

Gubernatorial Candidates Divided On TABOR, Education Funding And Gun Control At UNC Debate

By MATT BLOOM  APR 10, 2018

Candidates for Colorado governor at the University of Northern Colorado on April 10. From left: Erik Underwood (D), Mike Johnston (D), Greg Lopez (R), Scott Helker (L), Doug Robinson (R), Donna Lynne (D) and Steve Barlock (R)

MATT BLOOM

When asked what they thought the defining issue facing Colorado is, the panel of seven candidates at Monday night’s gubernatorial debate in Greeley couldn’t pick just one.

“The most important thing the next governor has to do is to build a coalition statewide to go to the ballot and repeal the worst parts of TABOR to build schools,” Mike Johnston, a Democrat, said to the crowd of 100 people in UNC’s University Center Grand Ballroom.

Fellow Democrat Erik Underwood echoed Johnston’s concerns, but was quick to call him a “Johnny-come-lately” on repealing TABOR.

“Actually, I’m the only original candidate on the Democratic side that wanted to repeal TABOR,” he said. “So, thank you.”

Doug Robinson, a Republican, said he had multiple priorities but pointed to the future of the state’s transportation infrastructure as a critical issue.   Continue reading

Apr 12

El Paso County officials fear TABOR lawsuit could delay start of I-25 widening

El Paso County officials fear TABOR lawsuit could delay start of I-25 widening

Author: Rachel Riley, The Gazette – April 12, 2018 – Updated: 8 hours ago

tollsSouthbound traffic begins to build on Interstate 25 Thursday afternoon, Oct. 12, 2017, just before exit 172 near Larkspur, Colo. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette)

A years-old lawsuit could delay a critical piece of funding for the widening of Interstate 25 between Monument and Castle Rock, possibly pushing back the start of construction.

The hang-up stems from a 2015 lawsuit filed by the TABOR Foundation against the state over the constitutionality of Colorado’s hospital provider fee.

Last December, the foundation argued that a new state law – one that’s expected to generate nearly $2 billion for the I-25 widening and other transportation projects around the state – is also unconstitutional, according to an amended complaint filed in Denver District Court.

Colorado’s Transportation Commission has tentatively allocated about $250 million of that money to the widening of the roughly 18-mile stretch from Monument to Castle Rock known as the “Gap.”

 

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Apr 11

Gubernatorial Candidates Divided On TABOR, Education Funding And Gun Control At UNC Debate

Gubernatorial Candidates Divided On TABOR, Education Funding And Gun Control At UNC Debate

  14 HOURS AGO

“The most important thing the next governor has to do is to build a coalition statewide to go to the ballot and repeal the worst parts of TABOR to build schools,” Mike Johnston, a Democrat, said to the crowd of 100 people in UNC’s University Center Grand Ballroom.

“Actually, I’m the only original candidate on the Democratic side that wanted to repeal TABOR,” he said. “So, thank you.”

Doug Robinson, a Republican, said he had multiple priorities but pointed to the future of the state’s transportation infrastructure as a critical issue.

“I think we’ve been drifting without a plan for our future,” Robinson said. “We have to invest in our roads and if we do that, commerce will follow infrastructure.”

 

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Apr 11

Study: Colorado has sixth lowest tax burden in U.S.

Study: Colorado has sixth lowest tax burden in U.S.

FILE - Denver, CO
Denver, Colorado

jackanerd | Shutterstock.com

Colorado’s state and local tax burden was the sixth lowest in the U.S. in fiscal 2016, according to a recent report produced Key Policy Data (KPD), a joint venture between Public Choice Analytics and Visigov.

The report relies on an income-based analysis dividing the state’s total tax collections by its private sector personal income. The national average using this methodology was an overall local and state tax burden of 14.3 percent of income; Colorado’s was 11.8.

KPD compared the burden of tax systems across states by measuring tax collections against the size of the economy. It defines this as the “total private sector share of personal income, which is personal income minus government compensation and personal current transfer receipts” such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

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Apr 11

Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights Should Be a Model for All States

Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights Should Be a Model for All States

by Heather Madden

In 1992, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) Amendment was adopted by Colorado voters to limit government growth and to put Coloradans in control of tax and debt increases. Under TABOR, the state and local government cannot raise taxes or increase the debt without voter approval.

TABOR is unique to Colorado. Currently, no other state in the union has a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

There are important reasons why TABOR is not only justifiable, but necessary.

  1. More Democratic – Referendums are a more democratic way to make decisions on government spending. When it comes to raising taxes or increasing the debt, voters, not legislators—who may be beholden to outside interests—should have the final say. After all, taxpayers are ultimately the ones on the hook for tabs run up by the state. Remember the whole “No taxation without representation” thing? This is about the consent of the governed, a principle so important… it sparked the U.S. Revolution.
  1. Financial Freedom –Under TABOR, lawmakers lack the power to impose higher taxes without consent from the voters. As Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, put it:

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Apr 06

Lawmakers Are Close To A New State Budget. Here’s Where Money Is And Isn’t Going

Colorado lawmakers have all but signed off on the biggest budget in state history. The $28.9 billion spending plan invests taxpayer dollars in roads, schools and the state’s troubled pension fund.

Unlike in previous years, lawmakers had a $1.3 billion surplus to split between their different priorities. The extra money is thanks to a booming a economy and the federal tax reform package, according to state economists. While a surplus has eased tensions among lawmakers jockeying for priorities, it also has them scrambling for the extra dollars.

The Senate added a number of changes to the budget Wednesday night. The chamber is scheduled to take a final vote on it’s version this week before a bipartisan committee begins ironing differences with the House version. The deadline for final passage is the end of next week. Here’s where the money is — and isn’t — headed.

No TABOR Refund

In Coloradothe Taxpayers’ Bill Of Rights limits the amount of money lawmakers can spend before they have to supply refunds to taxpayers. Lawmakers don’t expect to hit the TABOR cap over the next fiscal year, so Coloradans won’t be getting a refund check next year. Part of the reason for that has to do with a major financial compromise struck last year. It recategorized a fee paid by hospitals, which created room for spending beneath the TABOR limit.

Fix Roads And Bridges

The budget allocates $495 billion for one-time spending on road projects. That’s a fraction of the $9 billion the Colorado Department of Transportation says it needs to modernize transportation infrastructure around the state. But the spending is in line with a request from the governor and a compromise transportation bill approved in the Senate last week. That plan would use the money to buy time for voters to consider a citizen initiative in November to raise sales taxes for road funding. If that fails, the compromise would trigger another initiative asking voters for new transportation bonds in 2019. Continue reading

Mar 17

Speaker will make case to preserve TABOR

Speaker will make case to preserve TABOR

  • ERIN McINTYRE

The Mesa County Republican Party is inviting the public to come to a free presentation on the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, delivered by conservative think-tank leader Jon Caldara on March 27.

Caldara, the president of the Denver-based Independence Institute, is a proponent of limited government and plans to speak in favor of keeping TABOR intact, despite talk from both sides of the political aisle recently about tweaking the formula that limits government spending and requires taxpayer consent to use funds in excess of spending limits.

TABOR was voted into the Colorado Constitution 26 years ago, and the original intent of the law was to limit government growth and require taxpayers to approve tax-rate increases.

Critics have said the ratcheting effect TABOR has on spending has prevented governments from recovering from leaner times, especially in local governments that depend on property taxes for funding when those property valuations decrease.

Caldara has defended TABOR in the past, stating it prevents further problems during recession and helps keep governments from experiencing vast budget shortfalls. He also used an analogy comparing TABOR to obtaining consent for sexual contact in a column last year for the Denver Post, titled, “Why date rapists hate TABOR.”

Bringing Caldara to speak in Grand Junction on TABOR is timely, said Marjorie Haun, who handles publicity for the Mesa County Republican Party. Haun said she noticed some confusion about TABOR during the 2017 election, in which the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office asked voters to raise sales taxes to support their budgets in the “Back the Badge” campaign. Continue reading

Mar 07

Update on The Hospital Provider Fee lawsuit

 

-TABOR friends and supporters,

You know that your TABOR Foundation filed a lawsuit to stop the collection of the Hospital Provider tax and program until the new tax receives its required voter approval.  We also had to amend the lawsuit to include all the wrong-headed, errant and unconstitutional provisions that affected the program with the passage of Senate Bill 267 last year.  That measure will allow an increase of state taxes of (at least) $400 million per year, without the required TABOR vote.  It also moved the welfare program that is the Hospital Provider fund off the books by renaming it as a government business.

We wanted to let you know that there has been significant activity on that lawsuit.  It had been filed originally in 2015 but was not taken up by the Court for 18 months.  Within the past several months, our attorneys at Mountain States Legal Foundation filed the amended complaint.  They have answered copious number of briefs to:

  • obtain permission to make that filing,
  • to resist unsuccessfully the addition as Defendants of the Hospital Association, and
  • to add to our own list of Plaintiffs

In addition, a lot more activity has taken place with the procedure of Discovery.  Just last week, I was deposed for nearly four hours by opposition attorneys, and another TABOR Foundation Director, Rebecca Sopkin, withstood another two hours of grilling.  Our attorneys have taken depositions from the Defendants.

Our attorneys must also deal with the Defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit altogether, as they allege among other things, that there is no remedy (“relief”) for the problems we have cited.  There is also an important motion for summary judgment that is in process.  Unless one of those two motions is successful, we will see this lawsuit go to trial in late June.

We’ll try to keep you apprised of further developments as they occur.  The speed that new steps are occurring and the demands on our volunteer time are such that we have been running out of time to inform you in a timely manner.

 

Penn Pfiffner
Chairman

Welcome To The TABOR Website!

Featured

Thank you for your support of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights!

The TABOR Committee and its sister organization, the TABOR Foundation, are active in protecting this important constitutional provision.  You recently signed up to receive informational emails from our organizations.  We do not clutter your inbox with extraneous self-promotion nor do we mail periodicals.  You will receive short notices only when developments warrant.

  • There is no formal process to membership nor is there any formal dues.  You may find the website at http://thetaborfoundation.org/ .
  • If you are seeking for a way to make a difference politically, we have a number of volunteer opportunities.
  • We appreciate donations. If you can make a financial contribution to either the TABOR Foundation or TABOR Committee we thank you.  Here’s the link to do so: http://thetaborfoundation.org/donations/ .
  • To subscribe or unsubscribe from the TABOR email list, send an email to info@TheTABORCommittee.com with “subscribe” or “unsubscribe” in the email subject line.
  • And please share the TABOR message and emails with your people. If they want to sign up for our email list, follow the instructions in the previous bullet point.

TABOR on!

Penn Pfiffner
TABOR President

Feb 21

Grocery tax is well past its expiration date

Grocery tax is well past its expiration date

Posted 

There was a time when our town only had two grocery stores and a handful of gas stations.

Before the redevelopment of our downtown core — before the factory outlet — and even before our state recognized the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), our town services subsisted on the grocery tax. Because we had nothing else.

We paid for our cops, built our roads, and ran a town government through the direct taxation of the milk and bread that was purchased at those two, small grocery stores.

But we aren’t that small town anymore.

With the addition of the Promenade and continued improvement in the economy, we are seeing our town coffers grow to more than $44 million in sales tax revenue in 2017 alone. In 2016, that number was $39 million.

Yet in spite of a healthy and diversified economy here in town, we continue to incorporate the most regressive sales tax imaginable.

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