Dec 08

TABOR must die for Colorado to survive

Jeff Rice Journal-Advocate columnist

Editor: Another uninformed idiot who wants to raise taxes so you can pay more.
Jeff Rice Journal-Advocate columnist

I couldn’t help but notice that on this page last week CU economist Barry Poulson made numerous false claims about the “benefits” of TABOR refunds. That’s what conservatives do when the facts don’t support their doctrine. They … well, um, in the interest of not name-calling a fellow academic, I’ll just say that they tend to stretch the truth. A lot.

Poulson says that, if TABOR funds are returned to taxpayers in Colorado, you and I will enjoy between $50 and $100 refunds. Per year. And he says that will stimulate the state’s economy.

Fifty bucks? Seriously? Because I live in the real world, I personally know dozens of people who live at or below the federal poverty level, and to say that $50 a year would make a difference in their lives is an insult. They spend that on cigarettes every payday. That’s one tank of gas a year. A year!

Here’s the problem: Like most professional academics, Poulson doesn’t live in the same world you and I live in. His world is theoretical, and there are certain theories that are sacrosanct. Never mind that dribble-down economics (the poor are grateful for the crumbs of the rich) has been discredited in real life so often that even most conservatives have abandoned it. Poulson hangs onto it because (1) he’s paid to do that and (2) he hasn’t read a book on economics since 1997.

 

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Dec 06

Don’t condescend on TABOR refund, Democrats

By The Denver Post Editorial Board

TABOR1 pictureDemocrats in the legislature are flirting with the idea of a ballot measure asking voters if the state can keep a likely refund dictated by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Good for them. The state needs the money to backfill both K-12 and higher education, and for transportation.

But Democrats might want to refine their pitch. According to incoming House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, “people would be far better off if we invested that in infrastructure, education — something that really benefited them rather than (them) getting their 50 bucks to spend on a tank of gas or something.”

Intentionally or not, her statement oozes the sort of condescension that voters detest.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by e-mail or mail.

http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_27061668/dont-condescend-tabor-refund-democrats

 

Dec 06

Diverging from Hickenlooper, Democrats consider not supporting tax refund

 Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an election-eve budget plan that supported taxpayer refunds next year, but his Democratic colleagues in the legislature are openly considering a move to spend the money.

The talk comes as the Joint Budget Committee continues preliminary meetings to craft the state budget and raises the specter of an intraparty showdown on one of the top legislative issues in the upcoming 2015 session.

Under the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, Colorado must return any tax collections in excess of its constitutional revenue cap, which is set by the rate of inflation plus population growth. Right now, the state forecasts a potential $130 million refund.

In a recent interview, noted in a story looking at Hickenlooper’s second term, incoming House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst made the most direct suggestion that Democrats may support a ballot measure in 2015 to ask voters to keep the money for state spending instead of issuing a refund

TABOR picture“If we don’t do anything as a state, we are going to be spending almost as much money as we refund, refunding money to people, which doesn’t seem to make a lot of common sense to me,” the Boulder Democrat said. “The people would be far better off if we invested that in infrastructure, education — something that really benefited them rather than (them) getting their 50 bucks to spend on a tank of gas or something.”

Hullinghorst didn’t elaborate, but the cost for refunding TABOR is typically negligible because it’s done through tax filings.

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Nov 27

California’s experience makes economic, political benefits of Colorado’s TABOR clear

Rapid growth in the Colorado economy will increase state revenue in excess of the TABOR limit. Colorado’s TABOR constitutional amendment limits the growth of state revenue to the sum of population growth plus inflation; surplus revenue above that limit must be refunded to taxpayers.

Legislative analysts estimate $137 million in TABOR refunds for the next fiscal year. In the following year the state must offset surplus revenue with a temporary income tax rate reduction estimated at $234 million. Given the range of error in these estimates, the average Colorado household should expect to get somewhere between $50 and $100 per year in TABOR refunds.

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Nov 22

Kerr vs. Hickenlooper motion asking the Supreme Court to take up the appeal

Friends of TABOR,
Please recall that the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the “Fenster” lawsuit (“Kerr vs. Hickenlooper”) to declare TABOR unconstitutional under the US Constitution could move to the trial phase.  Attorney General John Suthers asked the US Supreme Court to review that case, arguing that such an issue is NOT for the courts to decide, but instead is a political issue.
 
Your TABOR Foundation (sister organization to the TABOR Committee) joined the national office of NFIB to file a friend-of-the-court brief (an amicus)  on the motion asking the Supreme Court to take up the appeal.  The arguments presented in this brief just nail the issue, and I am proud to be associated with this effort – I want to stop people in the street and show them what a great read this is (scroll down to page 17 to start).
 
If you have questions about the process or the content of what we are trying to accomplish, please know that you may contact me by email or by phone.
 
Penn Pfiffner
Chairman

Amicus for Petition US Supreme Ct

Nov 18

Avon – Patriots Petition for a Vote of the Citizens

What can you do when…

Local Government STOPS listing to the Citizens they allegedly represent?

When Local Government tries to take on Millions more in long term Debt – spanning (2) decades to pay it all back?

(Photo – L-R, Avon Clerk Debbie Hoppe, Avon Police Chief – Robert Ticer, Dave Strandjord (Veteran, USMC)

Debbie-Hoppe-Avon-Police-Chief-Robert-Ticer-Dave-Stranjord

When Local Government plans to “pay off decades of Debt” by using the 2% (RETT – Real Estate Transfer Tax) – levied against all real Property in Avon?

The answer is…Avon Patriot Citizens “Petition their Local Government” – (and with a sufficient number of Avon Voters, signatures…you can legally force a “special election” either/or their Town Council can Repeal their Ordinance that authorized Millions more in Debt.  Dave Strandjord shown here returning 233 Avon Signatures – to be verified by Avon Clerk Debbie Hoppe.

This week (17-21NOV2014) Avon Voters should know the results of this Petition Drive.

Stand by.  More News from the ECT shortly.

http://eaglecountytimes.com/2014/11/17/avon-patriots-petition-for-a-vote-of-the-citizens/

Nov 18

Citizens Referendum – Stops Avon! (for now)

News from Eagle County, Colorado

Dateline:  Tuesday, November 18th 2013 –  Avon’s Grass Roots Citizens ‘Petition for Referendum’ has (for now) stopped the out going Avon Council from taking on millions more in long term DEBT!Their plan was to pay for this Millions in proposed/new DEBT by using the 2% (RETT – Real Estate Transfer Tax) that is attached to all REAL PROPERTY  in the Town of Avon.What next?

Answer:  Avon’s new Council (to be sworn in tonite) – has only (2) legal options they can exercise – now that Avon’s Clerk and Record (Debbie Hoffe) has issued her legal “Certificate of Sufficiency” (based on the Citizens signature Petition) stopping the Avon Council’s plan.

Option 1:  Repeal (read kill) the Avon Ordinance that was used to authorized the new DEBT.

Option 2:  Hold a “special election” and let registered Avon voters make the final decision.

The Nuclear Option?  Yes, there is one other legal possibility that (Avon Finance Manger – Scott Wright – does not support)…the “possibility” that Avon Council could vote to take $3.5 Million (out of Avon’s General Fund) and buy the “Building for Avon Bureaucrats” (also known as the Skier Building) for cash.   The ECT folks agree with Mr. Wright that would be a very bad decision.

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