Columnists, Jon Caldara, Proposition CC, TABOR, Taxes, Uncategorized

Caldara: Go ahead, put a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights repeal on the ballot

Come on you taxpayer-hating, consent-loathing, voter-fearing pantywaists.

Cowboy up and put a full repeal of our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights on the ballot. You know you want to. So just do it.

I’m talking to you in the Colorado Legislature who’ve been calling tax increases “fees” because you don’t trust the people who elected you to vote on their own taxes. You who want another “TABOR time out” to nibble away consent and jack up spending limits permanently.

You’ve always hated TABOR because you hate asking for permission to raise taxes. You hate asking to raise debt. You hate asking to keep excess tax revenue above the rate of population growth and inflation.

You’ve used every conceivable loophole the courts have pried open for you to keep what would have been refunded to working families.

And now you never want to have to ask again.

You know that’s what you want. We know that’s what you want. Respect us enough to stop lying to us.

You disrespect us by taking our money without asking. You come up with cute names like “mill levy freeze,” “FASTER fee,” and “hospital provider fee” because you are too scared to just ask for a tax hike. So, you take without asking.

Even with all the games you’ve played to “enterprise” most of the state budget, by putting our tax money into the legal bucket that can’t be refunded to us, the bucket that can refund some of what we’ve overpaid is spilling over with $500 million in surplus cash! And you want that too!

It’s not enough that the Tax Foundation ranks Colorado as 22nd highest (out of 50) in state and local tax collections per capita. You still want more. Be honest and just tell us you want us to get worse on that list.

You lied when you said passing TABOR would mean putting a “going out of business” sign on Colorado. TABOR’s restraint on your out-of-control tax and spending habits is the driving factor in attracting business investment and talented people to Colorado.

You just lied in the last legislative session when you said the state budget is running out of money, “scraping the bottom of the barrel.” You know full well that state coffers are awash in money. Our money.

Be honest for once and attempt to repeal the whole darn thing.

The Colorado Supreme Court just ruled you can remove our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights from the constitution with one single, simple, little ballot question.

You can end TABOR and the consent it demands permanently. What are you waiting for?

You won’t of course because your polling shows what my polling shows.

Some 27 years after fed-up taxpayers passed TABOR to rein in unchecked government growth without voter consent, they love it even more now than then. According to polling by Baselice and Associates, over 70% of voters support TABOR once it’s been described to them.

So, what will those that hate consensual taxation do? You know you can’t help yourselves.

You had to give yourselves Proposition CC.

You put it on this fall’s ballot to take away our excess tax refunds forever. The state government would grow unchecked. Prop CC would take away our grandkid’s grandkids right to decide whether to keep or remit excess tax refunds.

In your arrogance of the last legislative session, you thought voters would love that idea because you love the idea.

Except you just realized something really embarrassing. You’ve seen the same polling I have. It’s why you haven’t even started a campaign to pass CC. You know it’s not going to pass.

So now you’re banking on the governor calling a special session to get you out of your Prop CC humiliation and pretty it up, maybe make it so it only steals our tax refunds for five years (but still permanently jacks up your spending limit, thus stealing a portion of our refunds forever).

You hope this re-branding will sell better. It won’t.

The governor will have to make it look like he is calling a special session, you know, for several reasons, to take some of the attention away from your blatant greed and hate of consent.

So, why not use the special session to try something truly different? Honesty.

Put a full repeal of our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights on the ballot.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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