The Attack on Colorado’s TABOR and the Threat to Other States

January 9th, 2013 by admin Categories: Issue Papers, Publications, Revenue, TABOR, budget, constitution, initiative, petition process, spending, state, tax, taxes, taxpayer No Responses

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) has dire implications that extend far beyond the boundaries of Colorado. The theory of the lawsuit can be used to void well-founded safeguards in the constitutions of almost all other states.

In Independence Issue Paper 12-2012, Professor Rob Natelson, II’s Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence, debunked the lawsuit’s claim that TABOR violates the requirement that each state have a “republican form of government.” In this Issue Paper, Professor Natelson and Institute intern Zak Kessler demonstrate the practical implications of the lawsuit.

If the plaintiffs win, the result will be legal and practical chaos, not just in Colorado but across the country. This is because the theory of the lawsuit is that any fiscal restraints on a state legislature render that legislature less than “fully effective” and therefore “unrepublican.” Special interests can employ this theory to destroy well-founded and long-standing safeguards against legislative fiscal abuse. Furthermore, they can use the same theory to attack the voter initiative and referendum process, and other constitutional limits on the power of state politicians.

Jared Polis on U.S. Postal Service: end its “monopolistic protections and special treatment”

December 15th, 2011 by Brian T. Schwartz Categories: Opinion Editorials, Publications, fiscal, sustainable, tax, taxes, taxpayer No Responses

USPS, listen to what Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, wrote ten years ago. Ending “monopolistic protections and special treatment enjoyed by USPS” would “benefit … postal customers, postal employees, and businesses in the delivery sector. …

Maintaining Boulder open space trails: user fees & sponsorships should replace taxes

June 22nd, 2011 by admin Categories: Opinion Editorials, state, tax, taxes, taxpayer No Responses

How Boulder County finances its trail maintenance is unjust. The county sales tax forces people to finance hiking trail maintenance, whether or not they use them. Meanwhile, people who don’t shop in Boulder County can use trails without paying. The County should strive to replace tax-funded trails with user fees and sponsorships.

Why Colorado Should Shift to a Defined Contribution Retiree Health Plan

September 28th, 2010 by admin Categories: Opinion Editorials, PERA, colorado, health, liability, plan, retirement, tax, taxpayer, unfunded No Responses

By Barry W. Poulson, Ph.D.
Colorado taxpayers are on the hook for more than $1 billion in unfunded liabilities incurred in the defined benefit retiree health plan administered by the Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA). An additional $79 million in unfunded liabilities was incurred in 2008, reflecting both a rapid growth in retiree benefits and losses [...]