Daily Archives: January 24, 2010

Did the Colorado Supreme Court declare “open season” on Colorado ranchers and farmers, too?

As the National Western Stock Show drew to a close today, many of Colorado’s ranchers and farmers in attendance were unaware that one of the guests of honor (Governor Bill Ritter), along with many in the Colorado legislature, was taking pot shots at their livelihood – aided and abetted by what amounted to a declaration of “open season” by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Although a coalition of business groups opposed to being targeted for elimination of tax credits and exemptions have already expressed concern about the impact of increasing tax burdens on struggling businesses, thus far little organized opposition appears to have coalesced against two of the thirteen (13!) tax exemptions targeted for elimination that will directly impact Colorado farmers and ranchers:

  • Suspending for three years a sales tax exemption for pesticides. ($2.9M)
  • Suspending for three years a sales-tax exemption for animal vaccines, hormones, animal drugs, bull semen and other compounds used in agriculture. ($1.5M)

Prior to last year’s notorious “Mill Levy Tax Freeze” ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, however, these tax credits and exemptions could not have been targeted for elimination in the first place – since, under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), a “tax policy change directly causing a net tax revenue gain to any district” (whether by directly increasing taxes, or by eliminating an existing tax exemption) must first be approved by a vote of the people.

It’s no bull – you CAN exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on the four ‘unjust justices’ of the Mullarkey Majority (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of rule by an oligarchy of activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Help to Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining these unjust justices this November!

Colorado Supreme Court declared “open season” for Governor, Legislature to target tax credits and exemptions

A recent Denver Post article noted that leading Colorado business groups oppose the Governor’s and Legislature’s latest proposals to “balance the budget” by targeting several long-standing tax credits and exemptions for “suspension or elimination.”

The article cited a letter from a coalition of groups expressing concern that increasing the tax burden on business would delay economic recovery and ultimately be self-defeating in raising state revenues:

“We believe it would be irresponsible to reduce investments in areas that directly lead to both protecting and growing Colorado jobs,” the letter said. “At a time when these resources are declining, purposefully impacting the funding source is unwise.”

The article notably failed to mention, however, just how these tax credits and exemptions could be targeted in the first place – since, under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), a “tax policy change directly causing a net tax revenue gain to any district” (whether by directly increasing taxes, or by eliminating an exemption) must first be approved by a vote of the people.

For decades, that WAS the common understanding of the law – and the constraints on government spending (and taxation) served the people of Colorado well.  The activist majority on the Colorado Supreme Court broke this consensus in last year’s notorious “Mill Levy Tax Freeze” ruling by going beyond the questions at issue in the case (the property tax increase) to declare “open season” on a long list of existing tax credits and exemptions – including those whose elimination are now opposed by Colorado businesses.

Don’t allow your rights to be taken away by stealth or incremental cuts – exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on the four ‘unjust justices’ of the Mullarkey Majority (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of rule by an oligarchy of activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Help to Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining these unjust justices this November!

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