DENVER — Whether you’ve lived in Colorado for a short time, or your entire life, you’ve probably heard about what’s known as TABOR: The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
“It ensures that government cannot grow beyond what the people want it to do,” said Michael Fields of the conservative-leaning group Americans for Prosperity.
Fields argues TABOR leads to smart spending with an existing budget, prevents government from getting out of control and gives people of Colorado the power to decide when it’s appropriate to raise taxes.
“I think you make the case to the people,” Fields said. “If you want to invest in something more, then go make the case to the people – convince them that they need more revenue and that’ll pass.”
But there’s another side to TABOR.
“It’s not something good to have on our books. It’s actually hindered our ability as a state to do many things,” said TABOR opponent Amie Baca-Oehlert, of the Colorado Education Association.
She says she feels TABOR is a roadblock for lawmakers that prevents them from making responsible spending decisions in places where it is needed most, like Colorado’s schools.
“That just doesn’t seem right in a state with such a fast-growing economy,” she said.
But Colorado needs money to fix our ailing roads and bridges. So a push is underway to convince voters to approve a sales tax hike this November. Educators are also pushing a tax increase to help public schools after a 2013 $1 billion proposed tax increase to pay for school funding was rejected by voters.
On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an Aspen grocery bag surcharge was not a tax and thus did not fall under TABOR – the second successful challenge in recent months.
But what’s next? For the moment TABOR is here to stay. In order for it to be reversed completely – we as Coloradans would have vote to change it.
Rob Natelson wrote THE BOOK on Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. As he puts it, “It’s everything you could ever want to know about TABOR.” Check it out here: https://www.i2i.org/the-colorado-taxp…Cities like Philadelphia and Chicago are cashing in millions from new taxes and fees on ridesharing, but not yet in Colorado.Rob Natelson wrote THE BOOK on Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. As he puts it, “It’s everything you could ever want to know about TABOR.” Check it out here: https://www.i2i.org/the-colorado-taxp…
Author: Joey Bunch – January 13, 2018 – Updated: 17 hours ago
The bill, if passed, would refer a measure onto the ballot to ask Colorado voters to approve a tax on plastic bags from the supermarket. The tax would be a quarter, the same amount whether the customer at the checkout counter uses one bag or several. The proceeds would go to grants and loans to local governments and building contractors to build or retain affordable housing in Colorado.
The text of House Bill 1054 can be read by clicking here.
Compared to runaway housing prices, the bag tax comparably is a small price to pay, The tax, they project, could raise $50 million a year.
“No matter where I go or who I talk to, the sky-high cost of housing is the number one concern that I hear,” Rosenthal said in a statement.
Court said, “Even with the construction of a large number of new condos, the leases are expensive and not bringing down the cost of housing in the city,” she said. “We see many areas of the state dealing with this issue—it’s not just the Denver metro area.”
As a bonus, the tax would encourage the use of reusable or paper bags and raise awareness of plastic bag waste in Colorado.
“Plastic bags pollute and litter our environment, plus they’re an eyesore and they don’t biodegrade,” Rosenthal said. “We have to be far more aggressive when it comes to curbing our daily waste, which only adds to the mountainous heaps of garbage that currently litter our state.”
Several Colorado cities already tax plastic bags, “proof that the system works in the state,” according to Rosenthal.
Boulder passed a 10-cent fee on all disposable paper and plastic bags and reduced in 2013, and the next year bag use dropped 69 percent in the city, the Boulder Daily Camera reported.
The bill carves out exemptions for restaurants and those eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Do you want to pay more in taxes and give up your legally mandated TABOR refund?
TABOR Board member Brian Vande Krol did a televised debate last week regarding Denver’s Bond issues on your November 7th ballot. Here is his opening comments: