Gloves coming off in fight over Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Kevin McCarney

Colorado is a unique state for many reasons. Beautiful land. Bountiful waters. The Rocky Mountains. However, the most unique thing about our state is not physical. It is a law passed in 1992.

No other state in the union has one. It is a most simple law. If the politicians want to raise our taxes, they have to put it to a vote of the citizens. If they want to raise our debt, they have to put it to a vote of the citizens. If the government collects more tax revenue than permitted, they have to return the money to us. Simple as that.

Bureaucrats hate this law. So do most lawmakers. You see, they think they know how to spend our money better than we do and want the right to spend without limits.

Our Taxpayer Bill of Rights has led to a backlash at every level of government, and it stretches across party lines. Our people that represent us in government have one thing in common: they can never get their hands on enough of our money to spend.

Let me point out this one simple fact — the government has no money. Not at the federal, state or local level. There is no magic tree outside of City Hall where your leaders can go to pluck a couple million to pay for projects.

They fund all their projects by taxing we the people. Don’t be fooled by we tax the corporations. Those corporations turn around and raise their prices on you, so you are actually paying the tax.

Our state Legislature has been whittling down our voice and our rights for years, circumventing the Tax Payers Bill of Rights by calling taxes “fees” and other jargon. Two years ago they enacted the hospital provider fee, an $800 million tax that never shows up on your bill from the hospital. These same folks are now shocked at the rising cost of health care in Colorado, yet they are a huge contributor.

This year, the gloves are coming off. The tax and spenders are no longer hiding. They have made their true intent clear. They are going to take away your voice in all of this.

Their first attempt will be on the 2019 ballot with Proposition CC. This is a proposal to allow the state to keep any over collections of tax money. Right now, we the citizens of Colorado are owed $580 million to $700 million in tax over collections. Our friends in the governor’s office and state Legislature would like to have that money instead of returning it to us.

Prop CC will forever allow the government to keep your money. It has a clever opening that states “without raising taxes … .”  They start out by lying to you. If you are supposed to get that tax money back and they decide to keep it, they sure as heck are raising taxes.

They’re going to claim they could fund so much more education and road work with this money, knowing full well they can’t guarantee where any of this money will go. All tax revenue goes to the general fund.

If Prop CC passes, it sets up the next phase — the full repeal of our Taxpayer Bill of Rights. This loss would move Colorado from a balanced budget state to a debtor state, leading us down the road to insolvency. Do you really want Colorado to have budget problems like Illinois or California? Where they send IOUs to lottery winners and routinely shut down government offices because they can’t pay the bills?

This is the “vision” of Colorado’s future brought to you by the Legislature and governor.

We can stop this dead in its tracks. Vote No on Prop CC in such overwhelming numbers they won’t dare touch our voice in our state.

You are the only one who can protect your rights. Stand up and fight. Preserve our Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Vote no on Prop CC.

Kevin McCarney is regional manager of Colonial Life Insurance, chairman of the Mesa County Republican Party and a political activist.