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Letter


Reject the Latest Scheme to Weaken TABOR and Raise Taxes
Oppose HCR 1002!

April 21, 2010

Dear Legislator:

     On behalf of the National Taxpayers Union's 7,300 members throughout Colorado, I urge you to vote "no" on House Concurrent Resolution 1002 when the General Assembly considers it.

     Since 1992, Colorado's voter-approved Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) has provided Coloradans with the strongest set of taxpayer protections in the country. By guaranteeing refunds of excessive taxes, restricting spending to sensible growth rates, and giving Coloradans the ability to vote on tax increases, TABOR has been instrumental in the state's booming economy. Unfortunately, over the past 16-plus years, tax-and-spenders have sought to weaken some of TABOR's provisions through often-deceptive ballot proposals. They're at it again with HCR 1002.

     HCR 1002, being sold as a way to protect public education from budget cuts, would in reality gut TABOR, allowing for the same rampant spending that led to the stagnation of Colorado's economy in the 1980s to return. This bill would allow the state government to raise taxes for education without voter approval. Just a short two years ago, Coloradans rejected a similarly cynical proposal, which would have confiscated future TABOR refunds for education. Although supporters of HCR 1002 claim that any tax increases will go to education, there is no guarantee that the money will not be diverted to other programs special interests seek. Moreover, the argument that severe budget cuts cause education funding to suffer is disingenuous. The University of Denver has calculated that Colorado's general revenues have increased nearly two percent annually between Fiscal Years 1999-2009. Further, appropriations for K-12 education have increased by nearly six percent per year in the same time period.

     Coloradans are counting on you to stand up for them, turn back this assault on their right to keep what they earn, and continue the economic progress the state has enjoyed under TABOR. For the foregoing reasons, I urge you to reject HCR 1002.

Sincerely,

John Stephenson
State Government Affairs Manager