Feb 05

Grand Junction City Council adds new measure to April ballot regarding the Westside Beltway Project

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Grand Junction City Council is looking into completing the Westside Beltway project several years later, but TABOR funds are needed in order to finish the project.

The citizens of Grand Junction voted for the city to continue holding tabor override taxes to pay off the debt of Riverside Parkway early. However the city is looking to now continue the Westside Beltway project, making 22 and 25 road more traffic friendly.

It would improve 25 Road from I-70B, along F1/2 Road and 24 Road to I-70. The timing and funding of this project is one of the reasons they are now putting it on the ballot.

“If voters decide they want us to do this, we will be finishing this project at the same time the previous project would be paid off. So both projects would be paid off at the same time,” said Phyllis Norris, the Mayor of Grand Junction.

This project is an attempt to relieve some of the traffic from Patterson Road, as well as provide a easy route to the interstate from Riverside Parkway.

There are millions of taxpayers’ dollars set aside for the project, slated to start in 2017 if the measure is passed. However more funds are needed, to the tune of $12.5 million dollars, which is why the ballot measure will be asking citizens to use additional funds from TABOR.

http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/Grand-Junction-City-Council-adds-new-measure-to-April-ballot-regarding-the-Westside-Beltway-Project-291001701.html

Jan 30

The Supreme Court is considering a challenge to Colorado’s TABOR law

POLITICS

The Supreme Court is considering a challenge to Colorado’s TABOR law

By Mark K. Matthews
The Denver Post

POSTED:   01/12/2015 12:01:00 AM MST

Douglas Bruce, author of the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, is pictured in 2005.

Douglas Bruce, author of the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, is pictured in 2005.

 

WASHINGTON — If Colorado politics were like daytime TV, then the state’s controversial TABOR law would be its longest-running soap opera.

Few issues can match the drama — and staying power — of the 1992 measure, which has survived repeated attempts to dismantle its requirement that lawmakers get permission from voters before raising taxes.

Now, though, the so-called Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights is getting a shot at prime time. As soon as Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide the fate of a lawsuit against TABOR.

To read the rest of this article, click the following link:
http://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_27302332/supreme-court-is-considering-challenge-colorados-tabor-law

Jan 29

Monday is the Trial date for TABOR vs RTD/SCFD court case

TABOR Supporter,

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.

Bob Foland
Executive Director
TABOR Foundation

(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

POSTED:   10/24/2013

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

Jan 28

Legislative Coffee event kicks off

As the Colorado 2015 Legislative Session moves into full-swing, Morgan County stakeholders will begin discussions with representatives.

Stakeholders started those discussions Monday with the first Legislative Coffee event. Representatives from area businesses, Morgan County Economic Development Corporation, Morgan Community College, Brush Chamber of Commerce, Fort Morgan Area Chamber of Commerce, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and the city of Fort Morgan attended the event Monday at Café Lotus.

The small group met with State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and State Rep. Jon Becker to discuss bills and matters at the state legislative session.

The Legislative Coffee event on Monday followed a less formal format than usual, Becker said.

“Sometimes it’s more formal where people stand up and present, but it’s still early in the session,” Becker said.

The group discussed matters regarding tax on medical marijuana, faster internet services in the eastern plains and Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Continue reading

Jan 24

Colorado House GOP upset after Democrats kill school funding bill

By Lynn Bartels
The Denver Post

POSTED:   01/23/2015

(Denver Post file photo)

A House Republican says he can’t understand why his bill to give more money for education was killed by Democrats even though it had the support of the teachers’ union, school boards and superintendents.

“My bill would have directed unexpected surplus revenue to our schools,” said Rep. Jon Becker of Fort Morgan. “I can’t think of a better investment than our kids’ futures.”

He pointed out there was no opposition Wednesday when he presented House Bill 1058 to the Finance Committee, where it died on a 6-5 party-line vote.

To read the rest of this article, click the following link:
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27382176/colorado-house-gop-upset-after-democrats-kill-school?source=AP

Jan 23

Letter to the Editor: Taxes, taxes, taxes

Letter to the Editor:

Do the residents of Colorado work for the state government or does that government work for the citizen?

 If citizens work for the government, then government can charge the citizen any tax it wants to impose without restraint.

If the government works for the citizen, why can’t citizens decide what services they want to pay for?

TABOR is a law that limits the amount of taxes citizens are required to pay and in some cases requires the return of “surpluses” to the tax payer.

In effect, those who want to raise taxes must convince tax payers the added taxes are actually required.

Why is that bad?

Democrats in Denver want to reverse TABOR, as if it didn’t exist, and use the “surplus” for their purposes.

I think that if Democrats want to direct such “surplus” toward something other than what the law directs, they can set up a fund to allow those individuals who are so inclined to direct their “surplus” into that fund.

Thus the tax payer can determine if they get to spend or save their money instead of someone else spending it.

A note to Mike Littwin: check out Proposition 13 passed in California in 1978.

While not exactly like TABOR, Prop 13 limits raising property taxes thus protecting tax payers from unrestrained tax increases.

Steven P. Melcher

Pueblo West

– See more at: http://www.chieftain.com/opinion/3270685-120/taxes-tax-government-citizen#sthash.L4vM11iO.dpuf

Jan 22

Lawsuit challenging TABOR headed to federal appeals court

Lawsuit challenging TABOR headed to federal appeals court

POSTED:   11/06/2012
By Tim Hoover

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower federal court’s ruling that allowed a landmark challenge to the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to move forward.

The ruling by the three-judge panel means the state still has a chance to derail the lawsuit, Kerr v. Hickenlooper, before it can head to trial.

The suit, filed by 33 plaintiffs who are mostly Democrats, argues that by taking away lawmakers’ ability to tax, TABOR violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee that every state have a republican form of government, or one where elected officials govern rather than the citizens themselves.

In July, U.S. District Judge William J. Martínez ruled the suit could go forward to trial, denying the state’s motion to dismiss and rejecting its argument that the issues in the case are “non-justiciable” political questions that can’t be decided by the courts. If the appeals court upholds Martínez’s ruling, the case would likely to proceed to trial.

Tim Hoover: 303-954-1626,thoover@denverpost.comortwitter.com/timhoover

Read more:Lawsuit challenging TABOR headed to federal appeals court – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_21942741/lawsuit-challenging-tabor-headed-federal-appeals-court#ixzz2CWgG51DS
Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

Jan 22

Financing for Avon’s Skier Building rejected

AVON — The voters have had their say, and the Skier Building in Avon will not be purchased using “certificate of participation” bonds.

Of the 647 total ballots received in the special election, 418 came in against and 229 in favor of using the bonds according to totals issued by the town late Tuesday night.

Council members approved the idea to purchase the building for the purposes of relocating town hall there back in September, after negotiating a deal behind closed doors with Starwood, the building’s owner. The purchase price was found to be agreeable by both parties at $3.2 million.

TABOR CONCERNS

The purchase method, however, was not found to be as agreeable to a group of voters in Avon who said it was against the spirit of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, approved by Colorado voters in 1992 in an effort to ensure public voting on large financing deals like the Skier Building. Certificate of participation bonds avoid the stipulations of TABOR by securing a large amount of money through a process of annual renewal, effectively making one 20-year loan into 20 one-year loans.

A referendum to overturn the decision to use certificate of participation bonds to purchase the building was put in place, led by Avon resident Dave Strandjord, who paid the attorney fees to ensure the language on the referendum did not contain any mistakes. Continue reading

Jan 21

Another clueless person who thinks we should keep on spending….

Another clueless person who thinks we should keep on spending….

RC Lloyd: Time for repeal of TABOR
Posted: 01/19/2015

As one ventures out to spend the soon-to-arrive Colorado tax refund checks, be certain to thank tax crusader, current Colorado Springs resident and former California lawyer Doug Bruce for his success in passing the TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) amendment to the Colorado Constitution.
However, as your Michelins touch the ever-deteriorating roadways and you’re savoring that Starbuck’s latte, keep in mind how hamstrung state coffers are due to the lack of any rainy day protection written into this misguided piece of legislation. Time for a repeal.
RC Lloyd
Longmont

http://www.dailycamera.com/letters/ci_27353762/rc-lloyd-time-repeal-tabor

Jan 19

House District 60 Rep. Jim Wilson: Getting down to business

Posted:   01/19/2015 02:28:32 PM MST

Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson

 

All the pomp, circumstance, speeches and hoopla are behind us and the task of legislating on behalf of the people is about to begin in earnest for the 70th General Assembly.

However, drama and subplots continue to weave their way through the fabric of the Chambers. Our Republican Caucus learned last week that our Assistant Minority Leader (Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada) was stepping down to accept a position as a JeffCo County Commissioner. Her departure sets up a struggle for her vacated position between Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton (currently the Minority Whip) and Rep. Clarice Navarro, R-Pueblo (and maybe others – who knows…). Now the plot thickens — with Rep. Lawrence running for Assistant Minority Leader, the Whip position becomes open. To date, Rep. Tim Dore (R-Elizabeth) and Rep. Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs) have thrown their hats into the ring. Just when we thought the campaigning was over…

The other side of the aisle is not without its own political maneuvering as the session opens. Strategies are already under way to recapture seats lost in the 2014 election. As an example, former Rep. Jenice May (D-Aurora) lost to Rep. JoAnn Windholz (R-Commerce City) by just more than 100 votes. Miraculously, former Rep. May is back on the House floor for the session as an “advisor” to House Speaker Hullinghorst (D-Boulder)! An interesting strategy to strengthen former Rep. May’s resume for a possible run at Rep. Windholz’s seat in 2016. And the beat goes on…

Brace yourself to be bombarded by a flood of acronyms this session. One of the “biggies” will be TABOR – the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Continue reading