Friday, October 15, 2010

Senate Republicans Announce Pledge to Colorado Taxpayers

Senate Republicans announced their Pledge to Colorado Taxpayers today, the third release of their 2011 legislative agenda. “Reducing the size of government through modernization and innovation is our priority,” said State Senator and Republican Caucus Chair Bill Cadman. “This will ensure Colorado families have more of their hard-earned tax dollars while protecting vital government services.”

The Senate Republicans’ proposal outlines their plan to phase out Ritter’s vehicle registration fee increases, fight for lower energy bills and honor taxpayer protections in the state Constitution.

“Overpromising and overspending led Democrat lawmakers to continually circumvent taxpayer protections in our state Constitution,” said Cadman. “It is time we rein in out-of-control spending and begin to budget to the core functions of government.”

The Senate Republicans’ Pledge to Taxpayers is another piece of their legislative agenda for the upcoming session. Already the GOP Senators have released an Agenda for Economic Recovery and an Agenda to Reform & Restrain Government.

The Senate Republicans Pledge to Colorado Taxpayers is as follows:

Remove burdensome Ritter Administration “car tax”
• Phase out vehicle registration fee increase legislation (FASTER)

The large increase in vehicle registration fees imposed a real hardship on many Colorado households and should be rolled back.

Fight for lower home energy bills
• Repeal the Public Utility Commission’s authority to implement a two tiered pricing mechanism

Two-tiered pricing of electric utility rates is a de facto tax increase for purposes unrelated to the actual cost of producing the energy used by the consumer.

Institute supermajority vote (3/5) for all fee increases
• Change the law to make a clear and enforceable distinction between fees and taxes.

Because fees are often necessary for doing business, they should not be raised without a broad consensus on the necessity for doing so, and the use of revenue from fees needs to be restricted to their authorized purpose.

Honor taxpayer protections in state Constitution
• Guarantee that any tax increase proposed is brought to the people for a vote

All efforts to rewrite TABOR in the name of “budget flexibility” must be resisted, and any tax increase must be referred to the people for approval.