Dec 30

Caldara: Putting your money where your causes are

 

Americans give more of their hard-earned money to charitable causes than any people on the globe.

According to the Giving Institute, Americans give more than $1 billion a day to charities: a total of $410 billion in 2017.

And very little comes from the ultra-wealthy, big foundations, or large companies looking for good press. According to the Philanthropy Roundtable, in 2014 only 14% came from foundation grants, and just 5% from corporations. The rest, 81%, came from individuals like you.

Per capita, we voluntarily donate about seven times as much as continental Europeans. In Europe people see little reason to give more of their own money when so much is being forcibly taken by taxes and redistributed by the state for “what charity used to do.”

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Dec 28

Update On Kerry vs Polis Lawsuit

“The federal court of appeals will review the trial court’s ruling on whether the case should even be brought before the federal judicial system.  Your TABOR Foundation is one of three entities that filed a “friend-of-the-court” urging the courts to reject the arguments of the plaintiffs, and thereby end the case and leave the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights unchallenged.  You may read the argument submitted by Mountain States Legal Foundation, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers and our Foundation, below.”

Case No. 17-1192

 

 

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT

 

 

ANDY KERR, Colorado State Representative, et al.,

Plaintiffs-Appellants,

 

v.

 

JARED POLIS, Governor of Colorado, in his official capacity,  Defendant-Appellee.

 

 

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Colorado

No. 11-CV-01350-RM-NYW, The Honorable Raymond P. Moore

 

 

BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE MOUNTIAN STATES LEGAL FOUNDATION, THE COLORADO UNION OF TAXPAYERS FOUNDATION, AND THE TABOR FOUNDATION IN SUPPORT OF APPELLEE URGING AFFIRMANCE

 

 

 

Cody J. Wisniewski

MOUNTAIN STATES LEGAL FOUNDATION

2596 South Lewis Way

Lakewood, Colorado 80227

(303) 292-2021

cody@mslegal.org

 

Attorney for Amici Curiae

 

 

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

The undersigned attorney for Amici Curiae, Mountain States Legal Foundation, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers Foundation, and the TABOR Foundation certifies that

Mountain States Legal Foundation, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers Foundation, and the TABOR Foundation are non-profit corporations that have no parent corporations and have never issued any stock.

 

Respectfully submitted this 21st day of December 2020.

 

 

/s/ Cody J. Wisniewski          

Cody J. Wisniewski

MOUNTAIN STATES LEGAL FOUNDATION

2596 South Lewis Way

Lakewood, Colorado 80227

(303) 292-2021

cody@mslegal.org

 

Attorney for Amici Curiae

 

i

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Dec 22

Lower South Platte Water Conservancy District accused of improper mill levy increase

District president says they need the extra revenue to provide same level of service

HILLROSE, CO – JUNE 25: Water from the South Platte River flows into the Prewitt inlet ditch and will end up in Prewitt Reservoir on June 25, 2019 near Hillrose, Colorado. Neiman, who has worked for Prewitt Reservoir for 46 years, oversees and manages the water that is diverted off of the South Platte River that goes into the Prewitt inlet ditch and ends up in Prewitt Reservoir. The reservoir helps supply sufficient water for the irrigation of sugar beets. The reservoir is also used recreationally for swimming, fishing, hunting and other water recreation. When the reservoir is full it has a surface area of 2,340 acres. Prewitt Reservoir was financed and built by the Great Western Sugar Company and began construction in 1910 and was completed in 1912. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

In December of 2019 the county commissioners in Morgan, Logan, Sedgwick and Washington counties certified the Lower South Platte Water Conservancy District at 1.000 mills, double the amount allocated them on a yearly basis since early in the district’s formation.

Since then a group of property owners have been seeking recourse for the decision, claiming that the increase in mill levy was a violation of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which necessitates voter approval of both tax increases and the retention of excess funds if revenues grow faster than the rate of inflation and population growth. On May 19 William Banta, an attorney and legal council for the TABOR committee, sent a letter to the district.

“It has come to our attention that, in spite of TABOR, the Board of Directors of the Lower South Platte Water Conservancy District increased the District’s mill levy for 2020 without having voter approval,” the letter said. “Although we understood that the district received permission from the voters in 1996 to keep and use excess revenues there was no approval to increase a mill levy.”

The 1996 ballot measure is central to the district’s legal argument. The voters approved the ballot measure giving the district the right to retain and spend an additional $13,025 and access “the full proceeds and revenues received from every source whatever, without limitation, in 1996 and all subsequent years.”

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Dec 18

Survey: Colorado businesses want lawmakers to avoid tax increases during upcoming legislative session

  • By Robert Davis
  • Dec 17, 2020

The skyline is backlighted as the sun sets late Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Denver.

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

(The Center Square) – Colorado businesses are opposed to lawmakers increasing taxes during the upcoming legislative session, according to a new survey on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the state’s businesses.

The survey, conducted by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, found 87% of respondents want lawmakers to avoid “increases in taxes on businesses.”

Of the survey’s respondents, 80% of businesses said they want lawmakers to implement COVID-19 liability protections, and 56% want exceptions in public health orders to allow businesses to stay open if they meet or exceed guidelines.

“The economic fallout from COVID-19 can be felt among businesses of all sizes throughout the state,” Chuck Berry, president of the Colorado Chamber, said in a statement.

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Dec 18

Title Board rejects petitions proposal, finding an attempt to change constitution via statute

Title Board March 4
From left to right: Title Board members David Powell, Theresa Conley and Julie Pelegrin at the March 4, 2020 meeting.

The Title Board rejected on Wednesday a proposed ballot initiative to drastically revamp the direct democracy process in Colorado, concluding the proposal was an attempt to repeal sections of the state constitution without actually being a constitutional amendment.

“You simply cannot amend the Colorado constitution by enacting a statute,” said Jason Gelender, a board member representing the Office of Legislative Legal Services. “It would be like if the General Assembly tried to do what the measure seems to try to do, saying ‘we’re going to repeal TABOR,’” referring to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Initiative #6, from designated representatives Donald L. “Chip” Craeger III of Denver and John Ebel of Lone Tree, mirrored three other proposals the Title Board considered within the past year. Nicknamed the “Petition Rights Amendment,” the measure would expand the right of ballot initiative to most units of government, change the process by which initiative titles are set and appealed, and alter the number of signatures required to place an initiative on the statewide ballot.

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Dec 07

Can voters ignore the state constitution when passing an initiative?

The Other Arizona Election Challenge

Can voters ignore the state constitution when passing an initiative?

By  The Editorial Board

Dec. 6, 2020 5:43 pm ET

Voters wait in line at the Surprise Court House polling location in Surprise, Arizona, Nov. 3.

PHOTO: CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES

 

The outcome of the presidential race isn’t the only election result being contested in Arizona, and the other has even greater consequences for the law. Last week two lawsuits were filed against Proposition 208, the ballot initiative that imposes a new 3.5% tax surcharge to raise an estimated $827 million for education. It passed with 51.7% of the vote.

The suits are challenging whether Prop 208, which passed as a statute, must conform to the state constitution. One suit was filed by businesswoman Ann Siner and retired judge John Buttrick, the other by the Goldwater Institute, the influential Arizona think tank.

The suits claim that Prop 208 contradicts a constitutional amendment that limits the amount of revenue provided to school districts each year. It also overrides another constitutional provision requiring a two-thirds majority of the Legislature to approve a tax increase.

The Legislative Council, a nonpartisan legislative office that reviews bills and ballot measures for form and constitutionality, held that Prop 208’s language exempting the money it raises from an existing cap on education spending “is likely invalid” because it violates express constitutional limits. Supporters went ahead anyway. The state Supreme Court declined to rule on claims that Prop 208 unconstitutionally curtails the Legislature’s authority but said it couldn’t consider the issue until it passed.

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Nov 18

How Colorado Voters Cut Taxes During a Statewide Blue Wave

An election official notes the weight of a ballot box as a means to estimate the number of ballots locked inside before they are processed and counted for the presidential election in Denver, Colo., October 22, 2020. (Kevin Mohatt/Reuters)

And how, at the same time, progressives duped them into massive tax increases elsewhere.

In an election year where the political Left won nearly every ballot question and contested political race in the state, Colorado voters approved two conservative-backed ballot measures demanding fiscal restraint.

Proposition 116 reduces the state’s flat income-tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.55 percent, and Proposition 117 requires the legislature to receive voter approval of large new government fees.

Most outcomes from Colorado’s 2020 ballot come as no surprise in a state now largely dominated by the Left. Democrats flipped a seat in the state senate while losing nothing. The Republican-to-Democrat ratio in the House remained unchanged. Voters rejected a ban on abortion after 22 weeks of gestation. The state agreed to join the National Popular Vote compact. Environmental activist groups won on Proposition 114, a measure to introduce gray wolves to the Colorado Rockies. The tax and fiscal issues, however, have left many Colorado policymakers and pundits baffled.

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