Defending TABOR
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10/12/2016 TABOR lawsuit misguided
PUEBLO CITY Schools (D60) Board of Education has joined a lawsuit that would overturn the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Pueblo County District 70 joined the federal case earlier. Educators have been led to believe that repealing TABOR’s state and local tax and spending restrictions would trickle down into more legislative funding of the public schools. Not so fast. The state’s recent budget history says otherwise. Since approved by the voters in 1992, TABOR has done what it promised to do, which is to require voter approval before taxes can be raised and to tie revenue increases to Colorado’s overall economic growth unless voters permit.
06/14/2016 Analysis of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Twenty-Years-After
Twenty years of TABOR have passed since Colorado voters adopted The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in 1992, “to reasonably restrict most the growth of government.” It is in Colorado’s Constitution as Article X-Revenue, Section 20.
05/04/2016 PAWSD Voters Make TABOR History
By an overwhelming majority, the PAWSD voters elected to place their water and sewer district general fund back under TABOR limits. The vote was 1121 in favor, and 230 opposed.
05/01/2016 Two Decades of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights
Over two decades have passed since Colorado voters adopted the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in 1992. TABOR allows government spending to grow each year at the rate of inflation-plus-population. Government can increase faster whenever voters consent. Likewise, tax rates can be increased whenever voters consent.
Please assign the House bill to Senate State Affairs to kill it. It appears Sen. Crowder doesn`t care about its constitutionality, but wants to take away statewide tax refunds to subsidize money-losing hospitals in his district. "The ends justifies the means" in his mind.
02/09/2016 BRUCE: Perry’s apocalyptic view of TABOR is too extreme
You want to rewrite TABOR again and shrink revenue subject to its modest revenue growth limits. That only cheats taxpayers out of hundreds of millions in yearly tax refunds of excess revenue growth that are just starting to re-appear, despite Ref. C`s perpetual heist.
01/12/2016 ARTICLE
01/11/2016 REBUTTAL
01/07/2016 TABOR REFUNDS
11/19/2015 Rankin is a big-spending GOP imposter
The Joint Budget Committee, on which Rankin serves, has violated TABOR, not only by continuance of Referendum C rules (a statute cannot override the constitutional formula) but by violating the 2005 promise to voters that “C” was “only” a “five-year time out” and TABOR would then be reinstated. The formula was altered by statute, and that swindle still costs taxpayers close to $1 billion yearly in confiscated refunds.
09/27/2015 Dealing with the Devil
The Denver Post wrote an editorial proposing a middle ground between taxpayers and TABOR haters.
08/18/2015 Milton Friedman
08/18/2015 Aurora dropping its appeal in Gaylord hotel case, potentially losing millions in incentives
Adams County District Judge Ted Tow III ruled in February, however, that the vote by the representative of LNR violated the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights requiring citizen approval of any tax hikes. He ruled for Aurora on five other counts in the lawsuit brought against the city by the two residents, but nullifying the election meant that Aurora could not raise those taxes on future Gaylord guests and pass the proceeds on to Rida.
08/01/2015 Gov. John Hickenlooper begins new state tour to sell TABOR "tax fix"
Hick is wasting his time and ours. "As goes Leadville, so goes Tin Cup?" There were apparently 50 gullible robots in his audience. His goal must be to secure a constitutional amendment to redefine "fiscal year spending." That takes a 2/3rds vote in both chambers plus voter approval. No majority of voters will vote to give up their refunds, and those of their posterity, FOREVER.
07/03/2015 Supreme Court`s order great for TABOR
Most tellingly, the court praised direct democracy and held that it was "in full harmony with the Constitution`s conception of the people as the font of governmental power."
08/22/2012 Group sues city over bag ban
An anti-tax group is suing the city of Aspen over its plastic bag ban, asserting that the policy’s 20-cent fee on paper bags at the grocery store is a tax, and violates a state law requiring voter approval of all tax increases.
08/08/2012 TABOR on trial
"This case is so ludicrous it would be laughed out of a law school moot court debate. It`s so superficial and silly, and illogical on its surface," says TABOR author Douglas Bruce. "You can`t just have a bunch of disgruntled, money-grubbing politicians say, `Well, we don`t like the results of an election 20 years ago, so we want you to undo it.` ... They`re just trying to have a judicial activist overturn the votes of 812,308 citizens."
08/04/2012 The Fix Is In: Tongues wagging over TABOR as federal suit moves ahead
The courtroom "defender" of TABOR is Bernie Buescher, the voter-rejected former secretary of state. BB tried to serve me 29 times with subpoenas in May 2010 (I was on vacation out of state, which he publicly called "evasion") to testify in the campaign finance trial hounding six citizens who dared to propose tax cuts and served as petition proponents. The AG failed in his effort to have me held in contempt but got a dumb district court judge, Brian Whitney, to order me to give a deposition on campaign funding AFTER the administrative case was decided and on appeal; in other words, to give a deposition that could not be used as evidence in the case. It was used, however, a month later to drive the charity Active Citizens Together out of business in Colorado and then led to my arrest the following year. ACT was established to educate citizens about limited government and has always been IRS-approved as a tax exempt and tax deductible 501 (c)(3).

Secretary of State BB retained Attorney General John Suthers, who tried to have me held in contempt because he could not serve me with a subpoena. The AG then had me arrested and railroaded in an illegal Denver trial (no right to subpoena witnesses; a bar to calling volunteer witnesses; illegal trial location; the AG`s illegal demand I pay his office $5100. to receive copies of the evidence against me, which I was entitled by law to receive without charge; change of the charges by jury instructions AFTER the evidence was concluded, etc.)

Do you THINK Bernie might throw the case through a weak defense of the TABOR Amendment which he hates? Why is the AG hiring outside counsel anyway? Or did he give Bernie a career civil service job so this inexperienced litigator could "defend" (scuttle) the voter-approved constitutional amendment? Have you now connected the dots?
08/01/2012 MSLF/ TABOR Committee / TABOR Foundation Lawsuit
Mountain States Legal Foundation sends updates to its many members and financial supporters to explain its valuable work. The latest letter, attached here, lets a fairly wide audience know about our lawsuit.
07/30/2012 Nuisance TABOR suit goes forward
Every word of the Constitution is written to protect individuals from government, yet this lawsuit asks the courts to endow the governing class with more authority that those whom they were elected to govern.
05/28/2011 Tabor plaintiffs wish to control your life
A mind-numbingly ignorant lawsuit keeps coming around, in which plaintiffs claim the Colorado Constitution’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights violates the U.S. Constitution. These extremists claim it eliminates a representative form of government — protected by Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution — moving the state in the direction of democracy.
05/28/2011 TABOR does not violate the U.S. Constitution
The section of the Constitution relied on by the anti-TABOR lawsuit, Article IV, Section 4, certainly was not targeted at citizen democracy. It was targeted at monarchy—and perhaps at the kind of aristocratic elitism epitomized by this very lawsuit.
07/14/2010 The Return of Tabor
This month brings good news to fiscal conservatives, as Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (Tabor), and the associated revenue limit, comes back into effect. Supporters of limited government should cheer the return of America’s best and most effective fiscal limit.
I think no one should be exempt from TABOR in any way shape or form. If this proposal is put on the ballot, I hope voters will defeat it.
03/26/2010 Bruce sues state leaders, says they stole TABOR funds
Colorado Springs tax-fighter Douglas Bruce filed suit Friday morning against Gov. Bill Ritter and the state’s elected lawmakers, claiming they’ve stolen $200 million from the state’s treasury.
03/08/2010 A wonderfully concise ruling on TABOR
In an opinion written by Judge Sean Connelly, a three-judge panel ruled that the Colorado Department of Revenue cannot increase the severance tax rate applied to coal mining without a public vote.
02/21/2010 TABOR suit assumes we`re sheep
Fenster will ask the courts to strike down the Taxpayer`s Bill of Rights in our state constitution, whereby citizens have the last word on taxes and debt, under his theory that taxation by elected legislators, not you and me, is essential to "a republican form of government" as guaranteed to each state by the U.S. Constitution.
02/11/2010 Sue the people, empower the state
The Legislature has no rights. The “public,” as spelled out in the word “republic,” has rights to constrain the Legislature. That is what Fenster, a seasoned legal scholar, will learn when he loses this fight.
12/21/2009 A national TABOR
Douglas Bruce, for all of his foibles and eccentricities, was obviously successful in helping to keep our state and local leaders fiscally accountable.
11/17/2009 Attorney General releases formal opinion
The Attorney General never addressed Douglas Bruce`s question of imposing a tax on something not previously taxed. Isn`t that "a change in tax policy" that requires voter approval, Mr. Suthers?
11/16/2009 A junk food tax erodes freedom
If we forget about the value of freedom and the joy of making choices for ourselves, it’s easy to admire Gov. Bill Ritter’s desire to eliminate a state sales tax exemption on candy and pop.
10/24/2009 Conservatives defend TABOR, see battle over the Colorado law lo
The Colorado Taxpayer`s Bill of Rights is the envy of the nation, and conservatives must gird for battle to defend it in 2011.
10/23/2009 Blue States Vote on a Taxpayer Bill of Rights
The voter-initiated measures on next month`s ballot are modeled after Colorado`s 1992 Taxpayer Bill of Rights (Tabor). They prohibit state spending from increasing faster than the growth of state population plus inflation in any given year.
08/18/2009 Lawyer stuck in nation’s past
We are a constitutional republic, and “we the people” control our representatives, not the other way around. Yes, they have the right to raise taxes, but only such as we direct or grant authority to do so. We fought a revolution over the very same ideology Fenster is trying to foster.
08/04/2009 A suit that favors legislative rights
TABOR epitomizes the essence of republican governance. The Legislature has no rights. The “public,” as spelled out in the word “republic,” has rights to constrain the Legislature. That is what Fenster, a seasoned and highly educated legal scholar, will learn if he files this unwinnable lawsuit.
05/23/2009 California could use TABOR
I hope Colorado will continue to hold our politicians answerable to the voters. California is a perfect example of what can happen when politicians are given a free hand.
04/29/2009 TABOR: What Was Said vs. What Really Happened
October 2008 Independence Institute paper by Todd Hollenbeck
04/14/2009 TABOR reins in government
If people don’t think our government needs to answer to us, and the majority vote down tax hikes, maybe they should move to a state without TABOR.
04/07/2009 Blowing the lid off TABOR
But tax policy is probably not the court`s forte. Maybe it truly didn`t realize how its ruling last month justifying a property tax grab by state officials sets up Coloradans to be nibbled to death by one tax hike after another.
03/18/2009 Law? What law?
The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday made mockery of the state constitution, overturning a lower court and upholding a property tax freeze enacted in 2007 to increase state revenues without an election, even though the law requires one.
03/17/2009 Voters blindsided by court
The audacity of the court`s claim is breathtaking. There is not one voter in this state who consciously approved the freezing of mill levy rates yesterday, today, and some day in the future when residential property values rebound and start to accelerate skyward again — not one who heard that issue debated at a local election. To the contrary, many were explicitly told their votes would have no impact on future taxes.
03/05/2009 Letter: Defending TABOR
Corporation governments ought to redefine the term "need" and refund our taxes, as TABOR was designed to do. We need people in office who will abide by it, instead of trying to find ways around it.
02/23/2009 TABOR vs. California`s Failed Socialist Experiment
The difference between Colorado`s budget troubles and California`s budget meltdown is not random - Colorado is doing comparatively well because its people have pursued fiscal restraint, while Californians have approved reckless spending packages year after year.
02/15/2009 Other states envy TABOR
How dumb do they think we are? The state is in a $600 million hole because Gov. Bill Ritter and Democratic legislators ignored advice from Republicans — and even some fellow Democrats — to restrain spending and save for a rainy day. Now those same spendthrifts want us to remove constitutional guardrails so they can rev the budget again when good times return.
02/14/2009 TABOR notice not needed — or is it?
“They claim that having higher taxes is not a tax increase,” he said. “It’s just patently illegal.”
02/12/2009 More backdoor tax hikes?
Another recession (or worse) has landed with a splat. That means another legislative raid on Colorado`s cash funds can`t be far behind. It`s a tradition.
02/05/2009 Don`t bypass voters
Here we go again: Smart lawyers and nervy politicians are cooking up ways of bypassing this state`s Taxpayer`s Bill of Rights by pretending that it doesn`t say what most people have always understood it to say.
01/25/2009 State constitution requires government to save money
The state has embezzled $114 million (37 percent) of its TABOR-required emergency reserve, and spent it on pork. So if our legislators routinely violate their oaths and refuse to obey existing reserve rules, why blame TABOR for not stating reserve requirements even more often?
01/21/2009 TABOR not reason to reject bailout
Because of TABOR we have constrained the growth of government and kept taxes low, creating one of the best business tax climates in the nation. Indeed, the challenge of Colorado to the rest of the nation is to pass their own TABOR so they can begin to create a better business tax climate and compete with Colorado.
01/17/2009 Lawmakers need ‘TABOR for Dummies’
Herein lies the lesson for voters: For four years, legislators have budgeted without TABOR’s training wheels. They could have saved money during good years, but they didn’t. They should have asked our permission before raising property taxes, but they didn’t.
01/13/2009 Basics of government are fine; if you want more, pay for it
You can give an extra $5,000 or so to the city because you feel like it. Not many, if any, feel so inclined, I imagine. Or, if they want the amenities City Council claims the city needs to compete, let those people form an improvement committee and build it themselves. No, these people have ceded personal responsibility to government.
01/13/2009 TABOR has kept Colorado out of deep fiscal hole of other states
Colorado as an example is one of the few states that does not have a significant budget deficit, yet all levels of our elected representatives are considering abandonment of TABOR, the very law that placed Colorado in this enviable position.
01/10/2009 Email to Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry
This is an email sent by Douglas Bruce to Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry. It highlights some of the reasons the GOP is so mentally befuddled. Our "leaders" have sold us out.
12/17/2008 Rebuttal of Denver Post Article
In Wednesday`s editorial, the Post again obsessively lied about TABOR`s terms, saying "the state is forbidden from tucking away revenue surpluses during good years."
Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, called Friday’s ruling “a huge victory for the taxpayers of Colorado.” “It`s too bad we had to spend the last year putting together a lawsuit telling politicians the constitution actually means what it says,” he said.
09/28/2006 TABOR Benefits Colorados Citizens
In 2005 the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released a video to help defeat proposed measures like Colorados Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) in other states.By understanding the truth, however, viewers will note that they have nothing to fear from passing their own TABOR. Unfortunately, they may not recognize the CBPP video for the highly misleading propaganda piece that it is.
06/15/2005 Understanding the Attack on TABOR
...Yet Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) amendment -- the crown jewel of the tax limitation movement -- is under attack, as a measure to weaken TABOR will be on the ballot in November. This effort to derail Colorado's limit is being duplicated in every state where TABOR is introduced.
04/08/2005 Senate gives final approval to budget
DENVER - The budget approved Thursday by the Senate sure doesnt make the state look like its facing a fiscal crisis. Critics say the $14.8 billion budget a 6.85 percent increase with more than $952 million in new spending is a sign to Colorado voters that state government doesnt need a proposed five-year timeout from the revenue and spending caps of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights.
03/25/2005 New Study Rebuts Criticisms of Taxpayer Bill of Rights
"Contrary to the assertions of critics, the evidence shows TABOR had no measurable impact on public health or educational outcomes in Colorado," said Staff Attorney Chris Atkins, author the new analysis. "In fact, TABOR actually saved Colorado from a more severe revenue shortfall during the last recession."
06/01/2003 A Decade of TABOR
Colorado has in TABOR the strictest tax-and-spending limitation of the 50 states. This Issue Paper analyzes TABOR’s effect on Colorado, contrasting taxing and spending before and after enactment of TABOR.