Jul 10

TABOR Committee & TABOR Foundation update

Friends of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights,

Your TABOR Committee has a lot of irons in the fire, so I thought to take inventory:

The lawsuit alleging TABOR unconstitutional is Kerr vs. Hickenlooper.  You might recall that a 3-judge appellate panel of the federal 10th Circuit found the trial could proceed.  In a direct and forceful response, the Attorney General’s Office asked for an appellate review by the entire Court (“en banc”).  From the opening salvo:

This case involves questions of exceptional importance: whether three state legislatorsmay enlist the federal judiciary to take sides in their dispute with the state’s constitution, its governor, and its people over the proper role of direct democracy. A case involving more fundamental issues about the proper role of the federal courts in a system of horizontally and vertically divided power is hard to imagine. If the panel decision stands, this Circuit will be alone in giving federal judges the power to decide that some laws are unconstitutional because they are too democratic.

The panel reached two holdings, each of which is unique among the circuits and conflicts with Supreme Court precedent….. Continue reading

Jul 10

TABOR vs Colorado Bridge Enterprise lawsuit update

Friends of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights,
Yesterday, July 8, the Colorado Court of Appeals heard arguments by attorneys representing the TABOR Foundation (we are the appellant) and the Colorado Bridge Enterprise. The three-judge panel already had the written arguments (“briefs”) from both sides. This hearing was the last step before the Panel rules. The ruling will be issued “in due course” according to the Court, which means perhaps one to two months, although such timing can vary greatly. We are praying for the Appeals Court to overturn the trial court decision that allows this abomination to continue; we want the State to have to get prior voter approval to collect the bridge tax (“surcharge”) and to obtain prior voter approval before putting Colorado citizens $1 billion in debt.

Our attorney, Jim Manley of Mountain States Legal Foundation, once again did stellar work, demonstrating quick thinking and thorough preparation. The arguments were limited by rule to 15 minutes for each side. Here is a direct link to the 30-minute audio file: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Oral_Arguments/Audio_Files/140708-13CA1621.wma

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Jun 30

Water District – Wants a Blank Check!

by  Jay Silverheels

Customers of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District – will be asked this May 6th 2014 to Vote to give their Water District – A BLANK CHECK!

ERW&SD-Logo

Are you a customer (and voter) inside their Eagle River Water & Sanitation District?  (Click Here) to learn if this Water District includes your property.

A Blank Check?

Yes.  Here is the specific Ballot Language that the Water District is using – to try to convince you to let them avoid TABOR spending restrictions in the years to come.

ERWSD-Ballot-Issue-B-1

Your TABOR protections ARE – Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution!

Why do you think our Water District didn’t use the word TABOR in their Ballot language?

ECT recommends you vote NOT to remove your Taxpayer protections under TABOR!

http://eaglecountytimes.com/2014/03/30/water-district-wants-a-blank-check/

Apr 23

Like HAL 9000, TABOR’s programming overrides will of voters

We disagree.  TABOR is the will of the voters.

What do you expect from Carol Hedge’s party when they can’t tax, tax, and tax some more so they can spend, spend, spend until Daddy takes the T-Bird away…. TABOR only says you can’t raise taxes without the voters approving the tax.

OPINION

Like HAL 9000, TABOR’s programming overrides will of voters

By Carol Hedges
Guest Commentary

HAL 9000, the mellow-voiced but malevolent-minded computer from "2001: A Space Odyssey." (Thinkstock)

HAL 9000, the mellow-voiced but malevolent-minded computer from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” (Thinkstock)

The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR as most Coloradans know it, is frequently acclaimed as carrying out the will of voters. But as recent events show, it’s doing the opposite.

Would Colorado voters really have approved TABOR in 1992 if they had known it could prevent their communities from accepting state emergency funds after natural disasters like wildfires and floods? Would they have voted for TABOR if they’d known that it could unexpectedly cut taxes on marijuana that voters had overwhelmingly approved in two elections?

Rather than being a tool used to express the people’s will, TABOR works more like a computer with a mind of its own that carries out its preprogrammed mission automatically, oblivious to voters and to their elected officials.

We now have a new political structure – the HAL 9000 form of governance, modeled after the mellow-voiced but malevolent-minded computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Many Coloradans know TABOR mandates tax elections. But it does so much more. Continue reading

Apr 03

Guest Commentary: Double Down and Defend TABOR

Dustin ZvonekBy 

There’s good news and bad news for Coloradans as the annual state budget battle looms.

The good news, if you tend to focus on the revenue side of the ledger, is that the state is relatively flush with cash at the moment.

This helps explain the extra spring in the step one notices in legislators, lobbyists and special interests swarming the capitol, as they imagine all the wonderful things they can do with that windfall.

But this can also be bad news if you tend (as I do) to take the taxpayer’s point of view, since the resulting feeding frenzy could leave little thought to socking-away savings or returning a dividend to taxpayers as required by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

You must remember TABOR, approved by voters back in the early 1990s? It’s been an invaluable ally to the state’s bill-payers ever since, which also makes it the bane of politicians and spending interests, who deeply resent the restraints it imposes on their ability to tax and spend at will.

Every budget season the debate stirs anew over whether TABOR has been good or bad for the state.  And this year that debate has taken on a new urgency for a number of reasons. Continue reading