Sep 21

Most Coloradans aren’t getting a TABOR tax refund – for now – according to latest revenue forecast

Most Coloradans aren’t getting a TABOR tax refund – for now – according to latest revenue forecast

The state collected $37.5 million more than it’s allowed under TABOR


Most Coloradans won’t get a TABOR tax refund next spring even though the state collected millions more dollars than it’s allowed to keep, according to the quarterly revenue forecast presented to lawmakers Thursday.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, limits how much money Colorado can collect from residents each year. Whatever comes in above the limit has to go back to the people. And for the fiscal year that ended in June, that’s a total of about $37 million.

However, a 2017 law requires the first refunds go to the state-administered senior homestead exemption and disabled veterans property tax exemption before they go to everyone else.

Exceeding the TABOR limit is a sign of the Colorado economy’s continued growth — even beyond the expectations of just a few months ago. In the last quarterly report, in June, state forecasters thought revenue would come in under the TABOR cap by $93 million.

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

Sep 13

Little-known flood-control district asks Denver metro voters for first tax hike

Little-known flood-control district asks Denver metro voters for first tax hike

Urban Drainage and Flood Control District proposes tax-restoration measure on Nov. 6 ballot

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Greenway Foundation educator Kate Ronan, right, checks Annalena Tylicki’s net for bugs and other living creatures she collected in the South Platte River during a SPREE day camp at the restored Johnson-Habitat Park on June 9, 2015. The restoration, which included improvements to reduce flood risk, was paid for partly by the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District.

By JON MURRAY | | The Denver Post

September 13, 2018 at 6:00 am


In an election season full of proposed tax hikes, one of the less familiar ballot measures facing voters across the Denver metro area this fall comes from a regional district that aids dozens of cities and counties in flood control.

The little-known Urban Drainage and Flood Control District hasn’t asked for an increase in its property tax since its formation nearly five decades ago. That means it has actually lost ground, with its tax rate falling by 44 percent since the early 1990s under revenue growth limits in the voter-passed Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

On the Nov. 6 ballot, the district’s Ballot Issue 7G asks voters across its jurisdiction for permission to restore its full taxing authority, as many cities, counties and other special districts have done. The district covers 1,600 square miles across Denver and all or part of Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

Next year, a partial increase is expected to generate $14.9 million. Further increases within the restored limit would be left up to the district’s board, made up of elected officials from around the region, the UDFCD says.

Once that happens, the full tax increase would raise an estimated $24 million a year, doubling the current funding level for projects and programs. The hit for the owner of a $400,000 home would be an extra $13 a year.

The flood-control district faces no organized opposition to its proposed tax increase, but it does face a big challenge: Most voters don’t know what the district is or what it does.

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


Sep 10

Hospital Provider lawsuit Sept 2018 development

The TABOR Foundation may have seen the final task for one of our lawsuits completed last Thursday, at least at the District Court level.  Our supporters will undoubtedly remember that we are suing the State government about how it implemented a new $600 million/year bed tax without first obtaining voter approval, as required by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.  The money is funding the Hospital Provider program.  The Foundation had to enhance the scope of the lawsuit after SB17-267 passed.  That egregiously bad legislation moved the Hospital Provider program off the books, as well as cobbling together transportation plans, changing Medicaid reimbursement, sale & leaseback of state buildings, a net $400 million increase in the fiscal spending cap, increasing State debt by $2 Billion  and more (so much for the single-subject mandate).


What happened last week, and where does the lawsuit stand?


All written arguments and counter-arguments have been submitted (“the case is fully briefed”) for the Summary Judgment phase.  The Judge still owes a ruling on the Motion to Dismiss made by the State’s attorneys.


Although not a standard action in Colorado, we had a formal Hearing last week for both sides to present their arguments for the Summary Judgment.  Each side was given roughly an hour to present its arguments, and there were questions from Judge Buchanan.  Lee Steven, the lead attorney from Cause of Action Institute, was the legal representative from our side there.  The Foundation’s Chairman, Penn Pfiffner, was present to represent the Plaintiffs.


Because it is not common to have oral argument for Summary Judgment, no clear Order was issued well in advance and as of just 10 days (+/-) before at least one of the attorneys for the Hospital Association was not sure that the Hearing had indeed been scheduled.  That’s why formal notice came up so soon before the scheduled court date.


The important development is that both Plaintiffs and Defendants agreed that the ruling will be on the constitutionality and on interpretation of facts already in evidence.  Therefore, it is more likely than not that the Judge will reverse (“vacate”) his Order for a five-day trial which is now scheduled to start on October 29.  He promised to make this case a high priority.  Given the circumstances, Judge Buchanan likely will release his ruling on the Motion to Dismiss and issue a final ruling on the case without any further action on the part of either Plaintiffs or Defendants.  We can be reasonably certain that the losing side will appeal.


At this point, all of us – Defendants, Plaintiffs, attorneys – are set for a waiting game until we learn what Court wants to do about the scheduled trial, and then for the rulings.











Sep 05

Amendment 73 property tax changes detrimental to non-school district taxing authorities

Miller: Amendment 73 property tax changes detrimental to non-school district taxing authorities

There would be four additional income tax brackets on top of the current 4.63 percent single rate for individual filers, with a top rate of 8.25 percent, along with a 30 percent increase in the corporate income tax.

To stabilize school district property tax revenues, the writers of the amendment went into the property tax laws and did some embellishing there, too. They should have stopped with the income tax.

The Gallagher Amendment, passed in 1982, is the foundation of our property tax system. Gallagher specifies that 45 percent of all property taxes paid statewide are paid on residential properties and that 55 percent are paid on nonresidential properties. That 45:55 proportion is the “Gallagher ratio”.

Continue reading