May 04

Protect Colorado Taxpayers – Vote NO on the Gas Tax

You’ve likely heard about the legislature’s new gas tax proposal, which seeks to raise over $4 billion to “solve” our infrastructure needs. This massive proposal includes new charges at the gas pump, on delivery services like Amazon, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and more.   No matter who you are, they have a new charge for you.

We all agree that our roads and bridges need repair, but Coloradans already pay 22 cents per gallon in State taxes, on top of the 18.4 cents we pay in federal taxes. For certain politicians that’s just not enough.

Much of the debate has focused on the questionable legality of the proposal, due to the passage of Proposition 117 just this past November.  That requires governments to receive voter approval before enacting these types of new, large “fees.” The unique protections of our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, require the legislature to obtain voter approval before raising taxes. But sponsors won’t let that stop them. Instead, they’re calling these new taxes, “fees,”’ so that Colorado voters won’t have a voice in the process. Continue reading

May 03

Objectors unsuccessful at blocking property tax cuts at Title Board

The Title Board reconsidered its ballot titles for three property tax reduction proposals at its April 30, 2021 meeting.

Opponents were unsuccessful at derailing three ballot initiatives that would cost local governments more than $1 billion in property tax revenue as the Title Board on Friday stuck by its original decision to award a ballot title to the measures.

On April 21, the three-member board concluded Initiatives #26-28 contained a single subject, as the state constitution requires, and consequently set a title that would appear before voters. But objectors Carol Hedges and Scott Wasserman challenged the board’s finding, trigging a rehearing at the Title Board’s final meeting to screen proposals for the 2021 statewide ballot.

As introduced, the initiatives would all reduce the residential property tax assessment rate from 7.15% to 6.5% and cut the assessment rate for all other property from 29% to 26.4%. Nonpartisan fiscal analysts estimated the tax cut would constitute a $1.03 billion hit to local governments, affecting services such as K-12 education and police. Because Colorado’s school financing scheme requires the state to backfill funding for local districts, there would be an extra $258 million in additional state spending each year.

Partially offsetting the sizeable loss in local government revenue would be $25 million that the state could temporarily direct toward localities — if excess income exists that normally would be refunded under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The three proposed initiatives would funnel the money toward fire protection, toward reimbursements for the senior homestead tax exemption, toward general relief.

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

Apr 26

Conservative advocacy groups look to cut Colorado’s gas tax rate

 

FILE - Colorado gasoline pumps
An attendant walks past the empty gasoline pumps at Shell station down the canyon from where casinos have been closed to the public in the state’s efforts to fend off the spread of coronavirus Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Black Hawk, Colo.

(The Center Square) – Two of Colorado’s most influential conservative advocacy groups say they will join forces on ballot measure language to reduce the state’s gas tax in 2022.

Americans for Prosperity-Colorado (AFP-CO) and Colorado Rising State Action announced the plan in a statement on Monday in response to a Democratic-backed proposal to hike fees on gasoline to fund the state’s transportation system.

The $3.9 billion fee proposal, which hasn’t been formally introduced in the General Assembly yet, would include fee increases on regular gas, diesel gas, electric vehicle registrations, ride-shares, and online retail deliveries.

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

Apr 23

COLORADO SUPREME COURT School finance tax change arguments heard

By Erica Meltzer

Chalkbeat Colorado

The plain language of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights says that to raise taxes from one year to the next requires a vote of the people.

But what if voters agreed to keep school property taxes steady more than 20 years ago and state officials lowered them instead? Does it take another vote of the people to return tax rates to the previous level? Or does increasing them simply correct an error?

That’s the question the state Supreme Court took up Tuesday as lawmakers seek a solution to a vexing problem in school funding.

Colorado lawmakers sent the court a formal question — known as an interrogatory — last month seeking a constitutional ruling before they give final approval to a bill that gradually would increase local property taxes over 19 years.

If approved, the change would generate more than $90 million in new revenue for schools next year and more than $288 million a year when fully implemented. That would take a big bite out of the funding gap that Colorado schools experience when lawmakers hold back education dollars to pay for other priorities — but the money would come from local taxpayers, not state coffers.

To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

Apr 19

Here is the link to watch Tuesday’s Court Broadcast on the proposed increase in mill levys

TABOR supporters –

The oral arguments regarding the General Assembly’s Interrogatory on the proposed increase in mill levies are scheduled for tomorrow, April 20, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.

Below is the link which can be used to watch them live.

Mark Grueskin will be arguing in favor of the proposed legislation and Dan Burrows, of the Public Trust Institute, will be arguing against the legislation.

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/live/

Apr 16

2021 Colorado Legislature: Bigger Government, Smaller Us

By Christine Burtt, TABOR Foundation Board Member
4/13/2021

 

There are several onerous pieces of legislation in Colorado this year that will negatively impact your standard of living, if not your way of life.

Here are three notable examples.

 

  • HB21-1083, the so-called “Don’t dare to challenge the government’s valuation on your home” bill, was designed to create a chilling effect on homeowners questioning the assessment that calculates their property tax.

 

The bill, which has been signed into law by Governor Polis, was initiated by the Colorado Assessors. It changes existing law that prevented a county assessor from raising taxes on a property if the homeowner challenged an assessment. The previous law gave homeowners an appeals process if they believed their property had been assessed at a value higher than was warranted.

, with the new law, if you challenge the valuation set by the county assessor, the assessor may keep the valuation as stated, or may even increase your property tax. It won’t go down. Continue reading

Apr 09

Instructions To Listen To Oral Arguments In “Kerr vs. Polis”

The lawsuit Kerr vs. Polis (formerly known as Kerr vs. Hickenlooper) is an existential threat against the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.  Politicians launched this lawsuit over a decade ago to have the federal courts overturn our Colorado constitutional provision.  What makes it especially pernicious is that the legal theory behind Plaintiffs’ arguments is that citizens can’t restrict the legislature in this fashion.  Although the people suing claim to aim only for TABOR, if they were to be successful, then the legal theory could lead to entrenched power claiming that citizens have no say in laying out rules that the government must live by.  The case is currently before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in which all the judges will review whether the Plaintiffs have “standing” to sue in the first place.

The oral arguments are set for May 10 at 10:00 am Mountain time.  It will be only on Zoom for Government.  Based on the written arguments, the discussion is likely to be arcane and legalistic.  You may listen in if you wish, and here are the instructions for doing so:

Guide for Participating in Video Oral Arguments Using Zoom for Government by North Suburban Republican Forum on Scribd

Apr 06

State-Based Policy Groups Launch New Coalition to Oppose Gas Tax Proposal

State-Based Policy Groups Launch New Coalition to Oppose Gas Tax Proposal

APR 6, 2021 BY AFP

Battle Intensifies After Introduction of Framework, Initial Coalition Expands

 DENVER – Americans for Prosperity-Colorado (AFP-CO) and partners formally launch the Colorado Taxpayers Coalition, a group of local advocacy partners set out to protect Colorado taxpayers by defeating the legislature’s current gas tax proposal and protecting the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).

AFP-CO is also running a statewide campaign that urges Coloradans to contact their elected official to advise against the bill. These efforts included a poll that revealed constituents in several state senate districts strongly oppose the proposal.

 AFP-CO State Director Jesse Mallory issued the following statement: Continue reading