Apr 26

Conservative advocacy groups look to cut Colorado’s gas tax rate

 

FILE - Colorado gasoline pumps
An attendant walks past the empty gasoline pumps at Shell station down the canyon from where casinos have been closed to the public in the state’s efforts to fend off the spread of coronavirus Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Black Hawk, Colo.

(The Center Square) – Two of Colorado’s most influential conservative advocacy groups say they will join forces on ballot measure language to reduce the state’s gas tax in 2022.

Americans for Prosperity-Colorado (AFP-CO) and Colorado Rising State Action announced the plan in a statement on Monday in response to a Democratic-backed proposal to hike fees on gasoline to fund the state’s transportation system.

The $3.9 billion fee proposal, which hasn’t been formally introduced in the General Assembly yet, would include fee increases on regular gas, diesel gas, electric vehicle registrations, ride-shares, and online retail deliveries.

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Apr 23

COLORADO SUPREME COURT School finance tax change arguments heard

By Erica Meltzer

Chalkbeat Colorado

The plain language of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights says that to raise taxes from one year to the next requires a vote of the people.

But what if voters agreed to keep school property taxes steady more than 20 years ago and state officials lowered them instead? Does it take another vote of the people to return tax rates to the previous level? Or does increasing them simply correct an error?

That’s the question the state Supreme Court took up Tuesday as lawmakers seek a solution to a vexing problem in school funding.

Colorado lawmakers sent the court a formal question — known as an interrogatory — last month seeking a constitutional ruling before they give final approval to a bill that gradually would increase local property taxes over 19 years.

If approved, the change would generate more than $90 million in new revenue for schools next year and more than $288 million a year when fully implemented. That would take a big bite out of the funding gap that Colorado schools experience when lawmakers hold back education dollars to pay for other priorities — but the money would come from local taxpayers, not state coffers.

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Apr 19

Here is the link to watch Tuesday’s Court Broadcast on the proposed increase in mill levys

TABOR supporters –

The oral arguments regarding the General Assembly’s Interrogatory on the proposed increase in mill levies are scheduled for tomorrow, April 20, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.

Below is the link which can be used to watch them live.

Mark Grueskin will be arguing in favor of the proposed legislation and Dan Burrows, of the Public Trust Institute, will be arguing against the legislation.

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/live/

Apr 18

Common Sense Institute study says Colorado UI debt will need more payroll tax revenues.

Colorado will need to increase payroll tax revenues to repay the Unemployment Insurance (UI) trust fund according to a new study by the Common Sense Institute. Colorado, alongside states like California, New York, and Connecticut, has one of the country’s highest burdens of federal loans to its unemployment insurance fund. As of April 8th, Colorado is one of 19 states currently reliant upon federal loans and has the 9th-greatest amount of money outstanding in both absolute and population-adjusted dollars. 8 of the top 9 states who need federal loans to support their unemployment insurance are blue states.

Repaying the UI Trust Fund’s debt will require nearly 25% more payroll tax revenue per year, on average. Between FY20 and FY23, total revenue to the fund is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 24.8%. For the fund to be restored to its pre-pandemic solvency by 2028, five years after the end of the latest projection, contributions will have to exceed payments by an average of almost $316 million in each year after 2023.

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Apr 16

2021 Colorado Legislature: Bigger Government, Smaller Us

By Christine Burtt, TABOR Foundation Board Member
4/13/2021

 

There are several onerous pieces of legislation in Colorado this year that will negatively impact your standard of living, if not your way of life.

Here are three notable examples.

 

  • HB21-1083, the so-called “Don’t dare to challenge the government’s valuation on your home” bill, was designed to create a chilling effect on homeowners questioning the assessment that calculates their property tax.

 

The bill, which has been signed into law by Governor Polis, was initiated by the Colorado Assessors. It changes existing law that prevented a county assessor from raising taxes on a property if the homeowner challenged an assessment. The previous law gave homeowners an appeals process if they believed their property had been assessed at a value higher than was warranted.

, with the new law, if you challenge the valuation set by the county assessor, the assessor may keep the valuation as stated, or may even increase your property tax. It won’t go down. Continue reading

Apr 09

Instructions To Listen To Oral Arguments In “Kerr vs. Polis”

The lawsuit Kerr vs. Polis (formerly known as Kerr vs. Hickenlooper) is an existential threat against the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.  Politicians launched this lawsuit over a decade ago to have the federal courts overturn our Colorado constitutional provision.  What makes it especially pernicious is that the legal theory behind Plaintiffs’ arguments is that citizens can’t restrict the legislature in this fashion.  Although the people suing claim to aim only for TABOR, if they were to be successful, then the legal theory could lead to entrenched power claiming that citizens have no say in laying out rules that the government must live by.  The case is currently before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in which all the judges will review whether the Plaintiffs have “standing” to sue in the first place.

The oral arguments are set for May 10 at 10:00 am Mountain time.  It will be only on Zoom for Government.  Based on the written arguments, the discussion is likely to be arcane and legalistic.  You may listen in if you wish, and here are the instructions for doing so:

Guide for Participating in Video Oral Arguments Using Zoom for Government by North Suburban Republican Forum on Scribd

Apr 06

State-Based Policy Groups Launch New Coalition to Oppose Gas Tax Proposal

State-Based Policy Groups Launch New Coalition to Oppose Gas Tax Proposal

APR 6, 2021 BY AFP

Battle Intensifies After Introduction of Framework, Initial Coalition Expands

 DENVER – Americans for Prosperity-Colorado (AFP-CO) and partners formally launch the Colorado Taxpayers Coalition, a group of local advocacy partners set out to protect Colorado taxpayers by defeating the legislature’s current gas tax proposal and protecting the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).

AFP-CO is also running a statewide campaign that urges Coloradans to contact their elected official to advise against the bill. These efforts included a poll that revealed constituents in several state senate districts strongly oppose the proposal.

 AFP-CO State Director Jesse Mallory issued the following statement: Continue reading