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.

To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

 

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 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

Mar 26

Millions more for Colorado K-12 schools? Lawmakers seek court opinion first.

Current Colorado lawmakers want to slowly increase local school district property taxes without a vote. They say it doesn’t violate the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights because a generation ago voters agreed to higher rates and state officials improperly lowered them.

Kellee Nolke talks to her kindergarten class at University Elementary School, 6525 W 18th St, in Greeley in 2019. (Joshua Polson, Special to The Colorado Sun)

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Colorado. More at chalkbeat.org.

Democratic lawmakers are asking the Colorado Supreme Court to decide whether a proposed tax change that could generate millions for K-12 education is constitutional.

Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights typically requires voter approval for tax increases. This proposal would gradually increase local school district property taxes without a vote under the premise that voters a generation ago agreed to higher rates and that state officials improperly lowered them.

On Friday, after giving initial approval to a bill to phase in higher local tax rates over 19 years, senators took the unusual step of sending what’s called an interrogatory seeking the opinion of the state’s highest court. Republicans Sen. Kevin Priola of Brighton and Bob Rankin of Carbondale joined Democrats in what was otherwise a party-line vote on the resolution.

Supporters hope to get a clear answer before the end of the legislative session and include the prospect of additional revenue in the 2021-22 budget. New local taxes would generate more than $90 million next year and could bring in the equivalent of around $288 million a year when they’re fully implemented.

Supporters believe previous case law indicates the court would agree with their interpretation. Legal experts have said the decision could go either way.

To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

Mar 25

Several key principles the majority of Coloradans support

Dear Friend,

Even though times may seem more polarizing now than ever, one thing most Coloradans can agree on is that they want every citizen of our state to be allowed to flourish. They may have strong opinions on the issues, but surprisingly, there are still several key principles the majority of Coloradans support.

After conducting extensive statewide polling, I outlined 10 practical ideas the GOP should embrace to address some of the big issues that Coloradans care about:

  1. Continue to protect our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). Few things are more popular than people being allowed to vote on any tax (or large fee) increase.
  2. Lower taxes. Coloradans overwhelmingly support a property tax cut for both residential and commercial property. With housing costs on the rise, low-income families would especially benefit from this tax cut.
  3. Increase teacher pay. More of the existing money we spend on education should go to teachers instead of the bureaucracy.
  4. School choice. The impact of the pandemic on our education system has led to even more support for parental choice. Colorado should also pass a stipend for families to use for out-of-school learning opportunities – like tutoring.
  5. Public safety. With crime on the rise in many Colorado communities, voters are looking for leadership on this issue. They strongly oppose any destruction of property. And while they are open to reforms within the law enforcement system, they certainly don’t want to dismantle or defund it.

Read all 10 of my ideas here.

With 42% of Coloradans choosing to be unaffiliated with a political party, it’s more important than ever for candidates to be clear about their plans if voters entrust them with power. If Colorado Republicans unite around a few key issues, and drive their message home with voters, I believe the party will quickly begin to make a comeback.

Sincerely,

Michael Fields
Executive Director of Colorado Rising State Action

Mar 18

Here are the new gas and road-usage fees behind Colorado Democrats’ $4 billion transportation plan

The new fees would start in July 2022 to pay for infrastructure projects, efforts to improve air quality and public transportation initiatives

With Pikes Peak looming in the distance, traffic flows along Federal Boulevard in Westminster on May 13, 2020. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado drivers would begin paying a new fee of 2 cents on every gallon of gas they purchase starting in July 2022 under legislation Democratic state lawmakers are expected to introduce in the coming weeks.

That fee, which would not require voter approval, would increase to 8 cents per gallon starting in July 2028 under the proposal, which is part of a $4 billion, 11-year effort to raise and spend money for badly needed transportation projects across the state.

Lawmakers, political groups and business interests have been trying for years, without much luck, to find a transportation funding solution. The proposal, which includes a number of other new road-usage fees, is backed by Gov. Jared Polis and also aims to reduce traffic congestion on Colorado’s roads, expand public transportation and improve air quality by making it easier for people to own electric vehicles and spending millions on environmental initiatives.

“We think this is the time that we absolutely have to get something done and something meaningful,” said Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat. “Not a baby step, but a real meaningful step toward solving the transportation problems that we have in our state.”

To continue reading this story, please click (HERE):

Mar 18

New Real Estate Transfer Taxes Are Not Allowed

New Real Estate Transfer Taxes Are Not Allowed

The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights includes provisions beyond the required citizen vote on new or higher taxes.

Real estate purchases have much higher values than purchases of consumables.  Purchasers of consumables such as household goods and of durable goods such as appliances and cars must pay a sales tax.  Governments have looked hungrily at real estate purchases as possible sources of taxation, salivating over taking a portion of the value each time there is a sale.

That’s a bad idea.

Our Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights is comprehensive enough to prevent any government (“district”) from even proposing to add this type of tax.  Because TABOR is written into the state constitution, any government would first have to initiate a statewide vote to overturn this provision before a new tax scheme could even be considered.

There are just a few existing real estate transfer taxes, which were “grandfathered in” upon the 1992 passage of TABOR.  There is a trivially small (.0001) statewide tax, mislabeled a “document fee,” for each sale.  It was initially imposed just to provide an indication of sale price.  There are 12 municipalities that have long-standing transfer taxes, all in the mountains and on the Western Slope.  In addition to a prohibition of new transfer taxes, no rate increase is allowed for any existing transfer tax.  For more detailed information, follow this link: http://thetaborfoundation.org/colorado-real-estate-transfer-taxes/

Colorado constitution (Article X, Section 20), paragraph 8(a) states:  “New or increased transfer tax rates on real property are prohibited.”

The provision was included within the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights as an additional protection for citizens.  A specific real estate sale might go forward in Colorado, when it otherwise might not quite reach the buyer’s threshold with the additional burden of an onerous transfer tax.

New Real Estate Transfer Taxes Are Not Allowed