Legislators exploit recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling to push “Dirty Dozen” tax hike bills

The Colorado Legislature received public testimony yesterday (continuing into today) – overwhelmingly in opposition – to the “Dirty Dozen” stealth tax hike bills exploiting a recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling to avoid the TABOR requirement that tax increases receive prior approval by a vote of the people.

It was readily apparent from the tone of the committee majority’s remarks to, and treatment of, ordinary citizens who came to register their opposition that the representatives were not interested in listening to their constituents but appeared set on rushing through testimony and proceeding rapidly to a vote.

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The answer to the question “Will Colorado Dems Ram Through Dirty Dozen Business Tax Hike Bills?” is clearly “Yes.”

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold signed up to testify against these bills on constitutional grounds – since it is clear that each bill represents “a tax policy change…  resulting in a net revenue gain” and therefore, under the Colorado Constitution, requires prior approval by a vote of the people.

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Unfortunately, due to a previously scheduled engagement, I had to leave before being called to testify on any of the bills up for discussion Wednesday – and couldn’t get word on how long the hearings continued, well into the night (and early morning) and so didn’t make the long drive back to the Capitol.  However, hearings are set to resume Friday, and I’ll again make the trip to speak out in opposition to these unconstitutional tax increases – please join me if possible.

Meanwhile, some excerpts from the testimony delivered Wednesday before departing are illuminating:

An objection to the “public peace, health, & safety” tag on the “Dirty Dozen” stealth tax increases (how does a tax increase on direct mail impact public health, peace, & safety?) was justified (?) by Rep. Pommer with the simple declaration that “we need the money – it’s a last-ditch attempt to increase revenues to address our budget shortfall.”

Responding to another amendment offered, attempting to refert the tax increases to a vote of the people (as required under the Colorado Constitution, Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights) the committee responded by denying the constitutional restrictions, declaring “We need the money now!

Representative Pommer (?) speaking in favor of imposing new stealth tax increase on Online Sales for out-of-state retailers: “Since we have no way of knowing how much people are buying, if the online retailer isn’t collecting the tax, we’ll require them to provide us information on individuals making online purchases – what & how much they buy.”  Um – Wow!  No privacy issues there!

The bottom line:  these stealth tax increases will not only damage businesses and harm consumers, but also violate the constitutional rights of Colorado citizens to first have a vote on taxes… By all means, oppose the legislature in taking these actions, but also remember how they were aided and abetted by an out-of-control Colorado Supreme Court ripping open a loophole in the Colorado Constitution and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on the four ‘unjust justices’ of the Mullarkey Majority on this year’s ballot (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey). They 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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