Tag Archive for TABOR

Dave Perry of the Aurora Sentinel Pens Excellent Editorial On Why TABOR Is Harmful to Colorado

Dave Perry, editor of the Aurora Sentinel, has written and published an excellent editorial on why the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) will cause problems for the state of Colorado in just a few years. As Dave Perry said on his Facebook page:

“Nobody cares about the arcane mechanics of state government and politics. But if you care about sitting in endless traffic, paying lots more for state college tuition, or watching big businesses pack up their jobs from Colorado and head elsewhere, you better pay attention to what’s happening under the gold dome right now.”

Here is the link to the excellent editorial. Take a few minutes out of your day to read it.

ELECTION NIGHT 2015 – Live-Blogging the Election Results

PROPOSITION BB HAS PASSED

The statewide ballot measure, Proposition BB, has overwhelmingly passed by voters. As of 8pm tonight, the ballot measure passed with 67% of voters voting yes to 33% of voters voting no (536,018 votes YES to 268,265 votes NO.) The ballot measure gives permission for the state to keep and spend $66.1 million dollars in tax revenue generated from legal cannabis, rather than returning the money to citizens in the form of small rebates. According to the Denver Post, the measure “will send the first $40 million to school construction and $12 million designated for youth and substance abuse programs. The remaining $14.1 million goes to discretionary accounts controlled by lawmakers. If the measure failed, taxpayers would have received a $25 million rebate — ranging from $6-$16 per person, depending on income level — and another $41 million would return to marijuana growers and recreational users through tax breaks.

I think it’s interesting that this vote basically counters the Tax Payers Bill of Rights (TABOR) and that voters will vote for Proposition BB in such numbers but still support TABOR fundamentally. Most overrides of TABOR don’t do well on the ballot. But since this ballot measure tied the cannabis tax revenue to school construction, it was an easy decision for most voters. It was a feel good decision for voters. In any case, I am thrilled that Proposition BB has passed!

The Three Jefferson County School Board Members on the Ballot for Recall Have All Been Recalled By Voters

Ken Witt – RECALLED-64% Yes, to 36% No

John Newkirk- RECALLED- 64% Yes, to 36% No

Julie Williams- RECALLED-64% Yes, to 36% No

Vote YES on Proposition BB this November!

Never Politics Small

Voters across the state will soon be receiving their mail-in ballots for the upcoming 2015 election ballot measure. I know in my household we just got our ballots this week. The upcoming ballot measure is called Proposition BB, which asks voters can the state keep tax revenue generated from marijuana sales instead of returning the tax-money to the voters as mandated by Colorado state law through TABOR (the Tax Payers Bill of Rights.) According to the Denver Post: “Proposition BB asks voters for permission for the state to retain and spend $66.1 million of tax revenue that already was collected from retail marijuana sales.” Proposition BB does not raise taxes, it only authorizes the government to keep the tax revenue generated from cannabis sales instead of returning it to the tax payers for paltry tax refunds. I think that the money would be better served being kept in government coffers for schools instead of doling it back to tax payers in small amounts (tax rebates are estimated to be $8 per tax payer!)  If the government is allowed to keep the revenue, a lot of good can be done for Colorado schools. And we all know Colorado schools are underfunded to begin with. So, it’s a no-brainer easy call decision. Vote yes on Proposition BB!

“Building A Better Colorado” Bipartisan Group Set to Examine Colorado Issues Including TABOR

np_logoA new bipartisan group has formed in Colorado which will seek to examine the big political issues in Colorado. The group led by leaders from both the Democrat and Republican parties will hold town halls across the state. The group called “Building A Better Colorado” will be stopping in 40 different cities and towns across Colorado. The newly formed group will seek to address some of the central conflicts in the state, including the controversial constitutional measure, the Tax Payers Bill of Rights, a.k.a TABOR, and other central conflicts in how the state is governed. These conflicts include Colorado’s ability to fund and build new roads, fund education, and engage with an electorate that is checked out and disillusioned, and preparing for the future for our state.

“Building A Better Colorado” is the creation of former University of Denver chancellor, Dan Ritchie. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will be involved with the group, as will former Colorado governors Bill Ritter and Roy Romer. Also lending a hand to the group will be Ken Salazar, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and two former Denver mayors, Wellington Webb and Federico Peña. On the Republican side there will be leadership to the group from former U.S. Senator Hank Brown, former state lawmakers Gigi Dennis and Norma Anderson, and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, a former state attorney general.

To what degree the group focuses on TABOR remains to be seen, but Republicans are already concerned that the group will focus on TABOR and how to weaken or change TABOR’s grip on state funding and taxes. Gov. Hickenlooper has repeatedly voiced concern over the state’s ability to meet financial challenges in part due to TABOR over recent months.

As a person who has been frustrated by the constraints of TABOR, I am encouraged by the formation of this bipartisan group. Hopefully the group can listen to the needs of the constituents of the state and find common ground to help address some of the central challenges in the state, including the funding challenges for roads, education, and government services. I am for the amending TABOR if not outright repealing it, but much of the state supports keeping TABOR in place as a way of curbing government spending and tax increases. But to these citizens I ask, how do we build and maintain roads, address a booming population growth, fund our schools and pay our teachers, and pay for government services with an aging Baby Boomer population who will need government services?

Hopefully the group finds answers and proposes solutions. Here’s hoping!