OPINION – Prop. HH: the Horrible Hoax

By Douglas Bruce

After 30 years success, legislative leftists still hate the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) Amendment. Voters rejected past schemes to surrender our right to vote on runaway government growth, but politicians won’t leave us alone. In 2022, they reluctantly sent us a TABOR refund of excess state revenue ($750 per person, $1500 for joint filers), but their resolve is still  “Never again!”

On the last day of this year’s session, a one-party cabal put on the ballot their 48-page scam for unlimited state spending. Dozens of conservative legislators walked out. Legislative hearings? None. Public input? None. Respect for the constitution? None. A constitutional mandate like TABOR cannot legally be changed by regular bills like HH, nor in an off-year election. You know that. Politicians count on their politically-appointed judges (whose salaries they set) to “look the other way” on this gross illegality.

HH’s legislative larceny teases voters with one last refund, then phases out all state TABOR refunds within 10 years. Politicians can continue the end of TABOR forever, with no more voting, no more elections, no more control of pork barrel spending. Why? Politicians don’t want the limits of living on a budget; they want a blank check. When Congress overspends by TRILLIONS of dollars (numbers not heard until recently), when inflation has returned, it is no time for Colorado to  follow the worst habit of government.

Even if you don’t care about economics, you must care about your children’s right to vote, and that of your grandchildren and those not yet born. You must care about an attack on your constitutional right to vote. Visit HH-NO.com to learn more.

Renters lose their state refunds forever, and don’t get even the crumb of tiny property tax relief. Two million renters get an average of $10 PER YEAR to offset their huge state tax increase. The state will keep 98 cents of every state tax refund dollar, traded for two cents of temporary payoffs to homeowners. Cynics under the Dome like that trade off. HH hands school bureaucrats $20K yearly pay raises, regardless of merit. Why do school unions back HH with six-figure campaign donations? Dirty money.

HH is so corrupt even local governments rebel. Thousands of local districts (fire districts, libraries,  parks, etc.) belong to the long-time Special District Assn. SDA opposes HH; that is a political earthquake. Also opposed: the  Municipal League, Colorado Counties, Inc.,  National Federation of Independent Businesses, Colo. Association of Realtors, etc.

Prop. HH is too extreme even for moderates. The Colorado Springs City Council publicly and unanimously stated (7-to-0) its opposition to Prop. HH.

State politicians cynically pretend to buy votes of seniors, but senior tax relief under HH is a mirage. Rising home valuations do NOT raise property taxes. Assessors can’t raise tax revenue. TABOR (7)(c) says big property value increases require lowering tax rates to avoid such government windfalls. That is the law.

For 30 years, ballot issues for tax increases have begun “SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED ($X) ANNUALLY…?”  This year’s Prop. II is a “do over” because the state did not tell 2020 voters the TABOR truth about a past tax hike. State politicians now evade the truth about the multi-Billion HH tax hike. They want a blank check. Big surprise. THINK: They don’t need voter OK to lower taxes, only to raise them. How much does HH cost? No one knows.

   Prop. HH is the largest state tax increase in American history, but it’s a secret. Read that again. Taking your tax refunds is a tax hike. This is our most important ballot issue ever. Don’t be fooled. Save your right to vote. Save TABOR. Vote NO on HH. “Do it for the children.”

(615 word guest column)

Douglas Bruce wrote TABOR, which statewide voters passed in 1992. He lives in Colorado Springs.