Tags: Gov. Bill Ritter, property tax hike, Republican backbone, Vehicle Registration Fees
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This morning the Denver Post reports that Gov. Bill Ritter is dropping the “hot potato” that would have hit all Colorado families with another $100 in vehicle registration fees. Of course, it’s important to note that it was Ritter who took the potato out of the oven after it had been thoroughly cooked by his blue ribbon commission.
Seems the governor was unable to get a single Republican in the legislature to sign on to “the bait and switch con game.” Kudos to the Republicans for showing some taxpayer-friendly backbone on this one. Meanwhile, the fact that Ritter is unwilling to push his fee hike forward without a Republican co-sponsor shows just how scared Democratic leaders are of being recognized as the party of tax increases.
It’s good to see another fiscally irresponsible proposal get shelved. Yet while the vehicle registration fee hot potato has rolled away for now, the property tax hike millstone is still slung securely around the shoulders of Ritter and his fellow Democrats in the state legislature.
Cross posted at Mount Virtus
Date Set for Tax Hike Showdown February 11, 2008Posted by bendegrow in Colorado Governor, Property tax increase, statewide, TABOR.
Tags: Bob Schaffer, Colorado Board of Education, Colorado Supreme Court, Face the State, Gov. Bill Ritter, Janet Rowland, Mesa County, Property Tax Increase
Face the State has the latest on the court case requesting a vote of the people on Gov. Bill Ritter’s statewide property tax increase:
The State Board of Education, claiming that CDE is the wrong agency to be targeted, has asked the court to be removed as a defendant. Meanwhile, Ritter has sought to intervene as defendant. A Denver District Court hearing has been set for May 5.
State Board of Education member Bob Schaffer, R-Fort Collins, believes Ritter has a lot at stake in the courts’ pending decision, having approved a property tax hike over the objections of the state’s attorney general.
“He has a clear interest in proving the attorney general wrong,” said Schaffer. “While the massive tax increase bill was passing, the legislature and governor understood that they were likely in violation of the law and the constitution.”
I know, I know. The money from the property tax increase is supposed to be “for the children.” Clearly, since I want to honor the state constitution and have the people of Colorado vote first, this makes me very cold and heartless person. (more…)
Tags: Amendment 23, education funding, Gov. Bill Ritter, per-pupil spending, property tax, TABOR
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On the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel site, Rick Wagner takes a club to the constant screams of interest groups for more money to fund K-12 education. Most amusing was this hypothetical dialogue and subsequent comment:
Government: “There’s a crisis in education. Something must be done immediately! The children’s achievement level is shocking. All that can be known with certainty is that it has nothing to do with my prior policies and the only solution is more money.”
Taxpayer: “Is that really the solution? Maybe we should look at our methods first.”
Government: “Great Caesar’s Ghost man! There is no time for that. We need money now! Why do you hate children?”
When we pursue questions about why achievement is so lacking, we are usually rewarded with a discussion having something to do with Bush, TABOR, Reagan, evil conservatives and tax cuts for the wealthy.
The actual problem in Colorado is that we have a system under the disastrous Amendment 23 that requires increased education funding no matter what the result. How many successful systems exist that are premised on a continuous increase in resources unrestricted by results?
It’s an important reminder that lawmakers and bureaucrats have an easier time accessing the taxpayer’s pocketbook when they frame the issue in the interest of schools and children. It worked for Amendment 23. More recently, Gov. Ritter did just that with his statewide property tax increase, but didn’t even bother to ask the voters as the state constitution requires.
Of course, our schools need some amount of resources to function well. But seldom if ever do you see any serious ideas about restructuring the education system to ensure money is spent with a high level of efficiency. The results are there to show that spending more has very little or no relationship with academic performance or growth.
Yet as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow, you can expect cries for more money based on some calculation that compares our state to the national average of education spending in some area or another. Is the national average of educational performance better than in Colorado? Not exactly. Well, then, somebody has got some explaining to do.
Colorado spends more than $9,000 per student in our K-12 public schools. Is the money really being spent as wisely as it could be, if we just had the political will to fix the system? The sad answer is it takes less political will to cajole a little more money from each of us than to do the hard work of reform.
“Freeze” mocked January 11, 2008Posted by jgmpk in Property tax increase, statewide.
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The Post‘s token conservative (bet he hates being called that) David Harsanyi’s piece today ripping Gov. Ritter’s magical ballooning property tax freeze (which CUT blogger bendegrow was staggered by a couple of days ago) is both funny and horrifying:
Approximately 90 percent of Colorado’s elected officials blatantly deceive taxpayers.
Now, that’s just an estimate. You see, when you “estimate,” you can say anything. . . .
Turns out that Ritter’s property-tax “freeze” is now “estimated” to generate $2 billion more in revenue than lawmakers “estimated” when approving the deal eight months ago. When the legislature first said yes, it was “estimated” at $48 million yearly. Then it was “estimated” at $114 million. Where it will be “estimated” next nobody knows.
Amendment 23, Ref. C and, forebodingly, TABOR are mentioned.
Property Tax Revenue Estimate More Than Doubles January 9, 2008Posted by bendegrow in Colorado Governor, Property tax increase, statewide, Referendum C, TABOR.
Tags: Bill Ritter, Property Tax Freeze, Referendum C
From the Denver Post today comes staggering, but not altogether surprising, news:
Gov. Bill Ritter’s property-tax freeze will generate an estimated $2 billion more over 10 years than lawmakers were expecting when they approved it eight months ago, according to the latest calculations.
The revenue leap fired up Republican lawmakers — who were already calling the freeze an “illegal tax hike” — as the legislature convenes today for its 2008 session.
The freeze, which prevents local property taxes for schools from dropping, is now projected to result in nearly $3.8 billion in state money by 2017. That’s more than double the $1.74 billion estimated when lawmakers passed the governor’s proposal in May. [Emphasis added]
Depending on which school district your home or business inhabits, this means even twice the pain for your wallet than previously estimated. Sounds like a rerun of the Referendum C story.
We can’t forget that it is Gov. Bill Ritter and the Democratic Party who own this unconstitutional proposal (i.e., they should have asked the voters first!). They’ve tried dodging the argument and playing dumb. But all lawmakers and public officials need to be kept accountable to the taxpayers they represent.
Cross posted at Ritter Watch