Colorado’s economic prosperity is mostly a good thing, but it has a downside: Prosperity attracts newcomers ignorant of our state’s culture—and often unaware there is
anything to learn.
You can see it in the great outdoors. Colorado’s environment is different from those of most other states. Colo
rado has greater altitudes, steeper mountains, harsher sun, drier weather, sudden weather changes, and fierce temperature drops. Our environment, while stunning, is far less forgiving than most newcomers are used to. If you get into trouble . . . . well, as we used to say in the Colorado Mountain Club, “The mountains don’t care.”
For that reason the classic “ten essentials” of hiking—extra layers, extra water, a head covering, maps, good boots, sun screen, etc.—are even more important for Colorado than for most other places.
Yet visit any of our popular hiking areas and you’ll see the trails populated by people outfitted like they were strolling in a public park in Boston: no hats, no extra layers, little water, almost no provisions of any kind.
In the past, the county would do so through a property tax credit, but the commissioners said they were somewhat hesitant about using that mechanism for two reasons, one of which is that a good portion of it would end up in the hands of out-of-area property owners.
The bigger reason, however, is that the surplus revenue didn’t come from property tax payers.
“Citizens are the consumers of government. They have the moral, economic and political right to set its price.”
Now that Proposition CC has gone down in flames, what will progressives do next to sabotage TABOR?
Aren’t you sick and tired on politicians trying to weasel their way out of, or ignoring, TABOR?
We need to do something about it, right?
Well then, why not you?
Yes, you read that right.
Why not? It’s a great time to get involved.
If not you, then who?
We could use your help, talents, and skills defending the gold standard, Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).
We’re looking forward to having you help Colorado.
It’s easy to join.
See below on how you can make a difference.
Voters stood up for tax refunds—but not charter schools.
By The Editorial Board
Nov. 6, 2019 7:05 pm ET
Opinion: Colorado Voters Stood Up for Tax Refunds
Proposition CC would have affected the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in Colorado. However, the measure failed at the polls on November 5, 2019. Image: David Zalubowski/Associated Press
They didn’t make the biggest headlines, but Tuesday’s elections in Colorado included two results that deserve national attention. First, a wide margin of voters refused to weaken the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, a constitutional provision that prevents state tax collections from outpacing inflation plus population growth.
Voters approved TABOR, as it’s commonly called, in 1992. Since then it has delivered Coloradans about $3.5 billion in tax refunds, which are required whenever state revenue exceeds the calculated limit. But politicians, being politicians, would much prefer to spend the extra funds. Proposition CC would have eviscerated TABOR by allowing the state to put any revenue windfall into schools and roads.
A point of worry among fiscal conservatives was the ballot question’s wording, which began: “Without raising taxes . . . ” Perhaps this was strictly accurate, since no tax rates would have changed. But it was misleading in spirit, given that the proposition’s point was to let the state government keep more taxpayer money. Voters weren’t fooled. The measure failed, 45% to 55%, as of the tally Wednesday.
The defeat of Proposition CC on the 2019 ballot is not deterring a movement by liberal groups for a graduated income tax system
Colorado voters rejected a bid to remove the spending caps in the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights — but the fiscal fight is only expected to get more intense in the next year.
One interest group is considering a repeal of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and another is testing ideas for a graduated tax system that increases rates for the wealthy. Both are eyeing the 2020 ballot and appear undeterred by Proposition CC’s defeat this year.
“Whatever we do next must be bold enough to drown out the alarmists. That work begins today,” said Scott Wasserman at the Bell Policy Center, the organization seeking to overhaul the tax system, in a statement.
“If we truly want to build a state that works for everyone, then we need to amend the constitution,” added Carol Hedges at the Colorado Fiscal Institute, which is working to unwind TABOR.