It’s not a federal election year, so many Colorado voters may not be thinking about the coming November election. The communists under the dome are banking on voters being distracted or uninterested in the election, and hoping they can trick enough voters to say yes to Proposition HH.
In Colorado, we have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). TABOR is not just a law; it’s a constitutional amendment added in 1992 – by Colorado voters. The purpose of TABOR is to limit the growth of government spending and, when government revenues are more than the allowable limits, return the excess to taxpayers.
The Colorado communists hate TABOR. Back in 2019, Polis and the legislature attempted to mislead voters into approving Proposition CC, a measure to allow the state to keep excess revenues instead of refunding them to taxpayers as constitutionally required.
Voters rejected Proposition CC; but persistent Democrats are trying again.
What is Proposition HH?
In the final two days of the legislative 2023 session, the General Assembly passed two bills that, when combined, remove Colorado voters from their constitutional protections under TABOR. They are positioning this change as a way to slow property tax increases in an effort to reduce property taxes overall and provide more funding for Colorado public schools. From NPR:
“‘At first blush, this is really less about a property tax cut and more about education funding,’ said Kevin Bommer, executive director of the Colorado Municipal League, which opposed the introduction of the ballot measure. ‘I think a lot of people would support [education funding]. I was kind of surprised, in retrospect, that that wasn't what the lead purpose for the legislation was,’ Bommer added.”
It’s not about property taxes or education. It’s about unchaining the growth of government.
They only claim they will “reduce property taxes” by removing the limitations that Colorado voters imposed on them in 1992. NPR admits this in their piece:
“The measure would rewrite the state’s tax system for at least a decade. It would lower property tax rates, saving billions of dollars for homeowners and other property owners. At the same time, it would substantially shrink the income tax refunds that are paid to millions of Coloradans in the form of ‘Colorado Cashback’ checks and other methods — and it would allow state spending to grow faster than current limits set by TABOR.”
The “Colorado Cashback” checks are positioned as a gift from the government to Colorado property owners; but if property owners get a check, it literally means that the government overtaxed them in the first place.
TABOR mandates that the government must refund taxes over the constitutional limits. Voters intended the government to keep within the imposed limits, but the communists have spent 30 years positioning TABOR refunds as a benevolent government gift to Colorado voters.
Now they want you to let them keep it.
And they’re trying to convince you that removing the government’s constitutional limitations on how they can tax you is going to reduce your taxes.
Proposition HH Shouldn’t Even Be on the Ballot
The 2023 legislative session dramatically ended on May 8 – and with a showing of party unity that hasn’t occurred since 2003.
Senate Bill 23-303, “Reduce Property Taxes And Voter-approved Revenue Change,” and House Bill 23-1311, “Identical Temporary TABOR Refund” are the two pieces of legislation that led to Proposition HH coming before voters in 2023. Rumored for months, the proposal was only introduced in the final week of session. SB23-303 was introduced on May 1, 2023, and HB23-1311 was introduced on May 6.
At the time, I reached out to Representative Ken DeGraff for comment, who told me, “Time was not afforded to understand [the legislation] because they don’t want you to understand it.”
SB23-303 passed the Senate along party lines but, in the House, the Democrat bill sponsors sparked outrage with an uncommon third reading amendment. Livid Republicans alleged the amendment was an attempt to buy votes and contended that third reading amendments were only afforded to Democrats. They also maintained that the third reading circus was proof that the bill was not ready for a vote.
Instead of voting, all 19 House Republicans walked out of the chamber. The bill passed 43-0. The drama of a legislative walkout hasn’t happened since 2003, when Senate Democrats, who were in the minority, refused to vote on a redistricting bill.
In other words, there is nothing bipartisan about Proposition HH. It was passed solely by Democrats after an expedited journey under the dome.
DeGraff explained, “HB23-1311 is a bribe to tempt about 60% of the population into voting to take money from the other 40% via a flat-rate TABOR refund,” which in linking the bill to SB23-303 will ultimately, “make TABOR irrelevant through Proposition HH.”
It’s a bad solution from the government to address a problem manufactured by the government.
Not So Fast, Commies
Proposition HH is well summarized by Independence Institute TV (IITV) in a May 5 YouTube report, which states that “The proposal manipulates the refund formula over time, causing taxpayers to give up billions of dollars from their refunds. It allows the legislature to continue collecting extra tax revenue without voter approval, potentially accumulating over $400 billion over the next three decades. The plan offers minimal relief by reducing the assessment rate by less than 1%, but it comes at the cost of giving up taxpayer refunds forever.”
The video host also says, “If that’s not extortion, I don’t know what is.”
The ballot measure has been legally challenged but, on August 21, the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear the case filed by 12 counties and Advance Colorado. The challengers brought the case before the measure was signed into law, but Justice Richard Gabriel says it cannot be legally challenged, “unless and until those measures have been approved by Colorado voters.”
So, Proposition HH and the death of TABOR is ultimately up to the voters.
We cannot allow a hyper-partisan government to change the Colorado Constitution without making our voices heard. Especially when they gave themselves this opportunity through deceptive, last minute legislation.
You may be uninterested in off-year elections, but it’s more important than ever to vote in 2023.