Jun 07

The Creation of a Colorado Charter School, Part Five

EDITORIAL: The Creation of a Colorado Charter School, Part Five – Pagosa Daily Post News Events & Video for Pagosa Springs Colorado

The Creation of a Colorado Charter School, Part Five

We might mention a couple of noteworthy laws created in the early 1990s, here in Colorado. One of those laws — the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, better known as TABOR — was approved by Colorado voters as an amendment to the state constitution, in 1992. TABOR’s language attempts to restrain the growth of state and local government in Colorado by limiting spending increases. In general terms, TABOR ties the rising cost of government to inflation and population growth; increases in tax revenues that exceed the TABOR-defined limits must be refunded to the taxpayers.

A quick illustration. Between 1970 and 2000, the average value of a single family home in Colorado nearly tripled — when adjusted for inflation. (Source: U.S. Census. It more than tripled when inflation is included.) That meant that a government agency funded solely by property tax would be pulling in nearly three times as much revenue (adjusted for inflation) in 2000 as they were in 1970 — unless that agency had reduced its mill levy. (I’ve never heard of a government entity in Colorado voluntarily reducing its mill levy.)

This hypothetical government entity was not required to actually provide better service in exchange for this ‘natural’ increase in tax revenues. The extra money just flowed in, without anyone necessarily doing anything differently.

TABOR attempts to control this type of taxation growth. Colorado voters, meanwhile, can choose to increase their taxes voluntarily, to fund new local or state programs, whenever they get the urge — and in fact, that happens on a fairly regular basis. (Maybe not so often in Archuleta County.)

One of the government systems that’s funded largely by property taxes — and which might have seen its tax funding nearly triple between 1970 and 2000, had it not been for the passage of TABOR — is the state’s education system.

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

Jun 06

William Perry Pendley’s New Book, “Summary Judgement”

The TABOR Foundation and The TABOR Committee are represented in legal filings by the outstanding team at Mountain States Legal Foundation.  William Perry Pendley is the President of MSLF.  If you like TABOR, please consider making a donation to them.

Perry Pendley book3

 

 

 

 

To receive his new book free, after a minimum of $25 contribution, click this link to donate: https://freedomisnotfree.mountainstateslegal.org/

William Perry Pendley was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics and Political Science from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, after which he received his J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law, where he was Senior Editor on Land and Water Law Review.

He served as an attorney to former U.S. Senator Clifford P. Hansen (R-Wyoming) and to the U.S. House of Representatives Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. During the Reagan Administration, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy and Minerals of the Department of Interior, where he authored President Reagan’s National Minerals Policy and Exclusive Economic Zone proclamation. He was a consultant to former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman, Jr., and was engaged in the private practice of law in the Washington, D.C., area before his return to the West in 1989.

He has argued cases before the Supreme Court of the United States as well as various federal courts of appeals; he won what Time called a “legal earthquake” when the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in the historic Adarand (equal protection) case. His monthly column, Summary Judgment, appears throughout the country; he is the author of four books: It Takes A Hero (1994); War on the West (1995); Warriors for the West (2006); and Sagebrush Rebel (2013). He is admitted to practice law in Wyoming, Colorado, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

Perry Pendley book1Perry Pendley book2

Jun 06

Progressives Return To Their Roots

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ICYMI, Mountain States Legal Foundation provides The TABOR Foundation and The TABOR Committee with excellent legal advice and representation. Here is their June column, Summary Judgement, written by MSLF President William Perry Pendley:
 
Each month, MSLF president and chief operating officer William Perry Pendley publishes his monthly column, Summary Judgment. A hard-hitting commentary on environmental, federal lands, natural resources, or private property rights issues, Summary Judgment is carried by newspapers, magazines, newsletters and other publications throughout the country. So topical are the issues addressed by Summary Judgment that they are often the focus of talk radio discussion for weeks after the column is sent out at the end of each month. Summary Judgment runs 650 words and may be reprinted so long as credit is given to William Perry Pendley and to Mountain States Legal Foundation. A glossy photograph of the author is available or download a high-res photo.

Progressives Return To Their Roots

Jun 01, 2016 | by William Perry Pendley

The Virgin Islands’ Attorney General issued a subpoena against ExxonMobil and a free-market think tank in Washington, branding, blacklisting, and besmirching hundreds from coast to coast as participants in a long-running criminal conspiracy.  The think tank’s lawyer reviled the subpoena as “offensive,” “unlawful,” a violation of “civil rights,” and “un-American.”  It is all that but one:  “un-American.”  It has its roots in progressives’ earliest and proudest days.

 

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Jun 05

High Taxes Lack a Guarantee of Quality Services: See Detroit

Welcome to Detroit signIt’s about how resources are managed

By JAMES M. HOHMAN | May 18, 2016

It is a common trope in Michigan and elsewhere that the path to state prosperity is to have high taxes and quality services, with Minnesota pointed to as the paragon. Yet high taxes do not guarantee quality services, as Detroit can attest.

Detroit has the highest effective property taxes in the country, according to the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence’s 2014 property tax study. For commercial property at all different values, Detroit is No. 1 in the nation. For homesteaded property, only Bridgeport, Connecticut surpasses Detroit. Detroit also has the highest property taxes for most values of industrial property. Only New York City has higher property taxes on apartments than Detroit. All of these rates are higher than those in Minneapolis. The one saving grace for property taxpayers in Detroit is that the net tax burden has decreased with the collapse in real estate values in the city. Continue reading

Jun 04

Effort to undo TABOR tax law dealt blow by court

50354_2201459078_608064_nEffort to undo TABOR tax law dealt blow by court  But decision unlikely to end legal challenge

By | mkmatthews@denverpost.com and | jbunch@denverpost.com

WASHINGTON — A legal effort to dismantle Colorado’s controversial TABOR tax law was dealt a major setback Friday when a federal appeals court ruled that some of its biggest opponents did not have standing to move forward with a court challenge.

The decision by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means that Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR, isn’t going anywhere soon — nor its requirement that state lawmakers and city leaders get permission from voters before raising taxes.
“For half a decade now, we’ve been fighting a federal court battle to defend our voters’ right to have a voice in state tax policy,” said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman in a statement. “I hope this decisive win will convince TABOR’s opponents that the courts are not the place to pursue their political agenda.”

There’s little chance, however, that the ruling will be the final word in the matter, as the coalition looking to unravel TABOR vowed to continue a court challenge that began in 2011.

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

Jun 04

BIG LOSS FOR KERR: Liberal Legislators Cannot Undo TABOR, Says Supreme Court

Kerr Colorado News AgencyOh no! Liberal golden boy state Sen. Andy Kerr has been spanked by the U.S. Supreme Court for trying to undo TABOR, which is the taxpayers bill of rights that requires taxpayer approval in order to raise taxes. The court’s ruling basically said that a select few legislators simply did not have the right to overturn a constitutional amendment, no matter how badly they want that fat cash for special interests. Ok, fine, we added that last part. But it’s true.

The case has been working its way through the court system, first taken up by Attorney General John Suthers and finished today by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who offered the following statement:

“I hope this decisive win will convince TABOR’s opponents that the courts are not the place to pursue their political agenda. However, my legal team and I will continue to defend taxpayers’ rights against legal challenge as long as we have to.”

While Team Kerr was told no, the court left open the possibility that a different set of plaintiffs (not legislators) could pursue a similar legal argument. Liberals just cannot wait to get their greedy paws on more taxpayer funds, so we don’t anticipate they will give up anytime soon.

BIG LOSS FOR KERR: Liberal Legislators Cannot Undo TABOR, Says Supreme Court

Jun 03

10th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds TABOR, Colorado’s tax restriction

10th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Colorado’s tax restriction (TABOR) » Publications » Washington Policy Center

By JASON MERCIER  | 

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Jun 3, 2016
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals today vacated a legal challenge by some lawmakers to Colorado’s requirement for tax increases to receive voter approval. Washington Policy Center joined an amicus for the case in 2015 when it was before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The American Bar Association provides this summary of the case:

“Colorado state legislators sought to invalidate key provisions of the Colorado Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights (TABOR), claiming that those provisions interfered with their constitutional voting abilities and thus violated the Guarantee Clause of the federal constitution. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, the named party tasked with defending TABOR, argued that the legislators’ claims ought to be dismissed for lack of standing, and as nonjusticiable under the political question doctrine. The Tenth Circuit found that TABOR had caused actionable injury to the legislative plaintiffs by depriving them of their unique ability to affect Colorado tax policy by their votes, and (upon quick findings of causation and redressability) held that those plaintiffs possessed both Article III and prudential standing. The court held that a case-by-case approach to the political question doctrine was required by Baker v. Carr, and that the legislative plaintiffs’ Guarantee Clause claims were not barred as nonjusticiable by any of the six factors detailed in that case.” 

The potential impact of this original ruling on voter approved fiscal restraints of any kind on lawmakers across the country was very troubling to us which is why WPC signed on to an amicus in the case when it was before the U.S. Supreme Court. On June 30, 2015, the Supreme Court granted our petition and vacated the prior judgment and remanded the case back to the 10th Circuit for further consideration in light of the ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm (2015).

Today the 10th Circuit ruled that lawmakers challenging the Colorado tax restriction lacked standing as individual lawmakers. The court ruled that only the legislature as an institution could challenge Colorado’s constitutional tax restriction. Colorado is one of 17 states with some form of supermajority vote or voter-approval requirement for tax increases.

Washington voters going all the way back to 1979 with Initiative 62, have consistently called for a higher threshold to raise taxes. The state Supreme Court, however, has ruled that a supermajority requirement for tax increases can only be enacted via a constitutional amendment. A December poll conducted by Elway Research, INC found that 65% of Washington voters want lawmakers to act on such a constitutional amendment. Should voters finally get the chance to consider one, the federal courts have again made it clear the people have the right to restrict tax increases via their state constitutions.

 

http://www.washingtonpolicy.org/publications/detail/10th-circuit-court-of-appeals-upholds-colorados-tax-restriction

Jun 03

SCOTUS Ruling on Kerr Vs. Hickenlooper Lawsuit

“Today the Judiciary ruled in favor of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).  Opponents of TABOR had asked the federal courts to rule it unconstitutional.  Arguments about whether a full trial should even begin had been appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court.  That highest Court had directed the 10th Circuit located here in Denver to reconsider the case in light of more recent precedent.  With today’s decision by the 10th Circuit Court, it appears that this case will be dismissed and TABOR will survive unscathed.

 

Your TABOR Foundation joined a group of limited government proponents to file Friend-of-the Court briefs at each step in support of TABOR.  We were ably represented in that effort by the National Federation of Independent Business through its attorney, Luke Wake.

 

We can be grateful that the most existential threat to TABOR is gone, for now.  We should be diligent that the Leftists who want to repeal such limits on the growth of governments will try again in a different fashion.

 

May 26

Colorado voters gambled on pot and TABOR, but will they go for single-payer health care?

Colorado voters gambled on pot and TABOR, but will they go for single-payer health care? | Cover Story | Colorado Springs Independent

Colorado voters gambled on pot and TABOR, but will they go for single-payer health care?

Is it healthy to experiment?

This November, Coloradans could decide to bring the first European-style health care system to the nation.

While other proposed initiatives scramble to make the ballot, a single proposal, Amendment 69, known as ColoradoCare, has been cleared for takeoff since late 2015. If voters pass it, ColoradoCare would amend the state Constitution to bring a tax-funded health insurance system to Colorado. Everyone not already covered under federal insurance like Medicare would be eligible for coverage, which would include copays for certain services but no deductibles.

While detractors and supporters cast the plan quite differently, this much is certain: ColoradoCare would be a financial giant. Its board members would handle some $38 billion a year and cover 4.4 million people.

Such a system has been proposed by other states. Vermont came close to implementing a plan until its one-time champion, Gov. Peter Shumlin, dropped it in 2014, calling it unaffordable.

According to Physicians for a National Health Care Program, “a non-profit research and education organization of 20,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance,” more than 15 states have introduced single-payer health care bills since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. And, of course, plenty of countries across the globe have single-payer systems.

But if Colorado voters pass Amendment 69, the state would be in uncharted territory as the first and only state to ensure that all its citizens have health care. Owen Perkins, spokesperson for the campaign to pass ColoradoCare, says that sounds just fine to him.

 

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May 24

Two Decades of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR)

Executive Summary:
Over two decades have passed since Colorado voters adopted The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in 1992. TABOR allows government spending to grow each year at the rate of inflation-plus-population. Government can increase faster whenever voters consent. Likewise, tax rates can be increased whenever voters consent. This Issue Paper analyzes TABOR’s effect on state government spending and taxes by examining three decades: The 1983-92 pre-TABOR decade; the first decade of TABOR, 1993-2002; and the second decade, 2003-12. The final decade included the largest tax increase in Colorado history, enacted as Referendum C in 2005. Decade-2 was also marked by increasing efforts to evade TABOR by defining nearly 60% of the state budget as “exempt” from TABOR.

Conclusion:

Tax-and-Spending Limitation Results

The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Amendment has worked well to achieve its stated intention to “slow government growth.”  Although government has still continued to grow significantly faster than the rate of population-plus-inflation, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights did partially dampen excess government growth.  It did not cut or reduce reasonable government growth.

In terms of economic vitality, Colorado’s Decade-1 was best for Colorado.  Unlike in the pre-TABOR decade, or in TABOR Decade-2 with its record increase in taxes and spending, because of Referendum C, Colorado’s first TABOR decade saw the state economy far outperform the national economy.

https://www.i2i.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IP-4-2016_b.pdf

 

Two Decades of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR)