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May 10, 2006 08:00 AM UTC

Any Tax You Can Cut, I Can Cut Better

  • by: Colorado Pols

From The Denver Post:

With the state party conventions less than two weeks away, the two Republicans vying for governor have unveiled dueling tax-refund proposals. Marc Holtzman on Tuesday announced his plan for “the largest tax break in Colorado history,” proposing to cap Referendum C revenues at $3.1 billion and refund the surplus.

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez announced he was the first to sign a petition for a “fiscally prudent” constitutional amendment that would cap those revenues at $3.7 billion and send the rest back to taxpayers in the name of heating-bill refunds…

…At issue are the extra revenues the state gets to keep after voter approval in November of Referendum C. When that referendum was proposed, the state estimated it would get to keep an extra $3.1 billion?that otherwise would have had to be refunded under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

But tax-revenue estimates have steadily risen. They were estimated at $3.7 billion in the voter guide for the ballot issue. And the latest estimates indicate the state will end up keeping about $4.25 billion over five years…

…Holtzman was a lead spokesman for the anti-Referendum C campaign. Beauprez opposed it but kept a lower profile. Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who was among those who joined Republican Gov. Bill Owens in crafting the budget compromise that led to Referendum C, called both proposals “electioneering stunts” intended to rally the conservative base.


27 thoughts on “Any Tax You Can Cut, I Can Cut Better

  1. So when Beauprez kind of, sort of, opposed Referendum C, what he really meant was “I really hope it passes, so I can hijack it and send checks to everyone so they’ll vote for me.”

    That’s not what Colorado voted for, Bob.  Democrats have made strenuous efforts to make the disbursement of Ref C funds transparent, and to defeat Governor Owens’ attempt to invent a new way of allocating the money that wasn’t what we all voted on.  Now Beauprez’s trying to have it both ways again.  What makes this guy a conservative again?

  2. Troubling. So, the estimated Ref C windfall is increasing at the rate of $500 million every six months. Rounding up, the population of the state is 5 million, so that’s $200 per person so far and we’ve only just begun. The problem with proposing a cap on the Ref C windfall is … what?

  3. Ref C windfall?  You mean collecting income tax at the exact same level/tax rate while the economy improves as when it tanks?  Boy, what a rip-off!  The state is collecting money at the rate it said it would.  This was all laid out that Blue Book, you know.

    Then Romanoff kills ’em with kindness:

    “We had a good debate last fall over Referendum C, and the governor, most of the legislature and the majority of Coloradans were on one side. Mr. Beauprez and Mr. Holtzman were on the other side,” [Romanoff] said. “That doesn’t mean that they are not free to come up with good ideas; it is just that their ideas aren’t good.”

    Ha. Ha.

  4. It seems that Bob is willing to sign up for someone else to do the work….just like writing a couple of letters to the editor is taking a strong stand. 

    Marc didn’t wait, but took action before last Nov. and seems to be wanting to take a proactive stance as governor…

    That’s all I’m looking for, someone who will actually lead.

  5. Obviously the problem is that the Dems can’t keep the extra money under a plan to cap the extra revenues that the voters didn’t vote on. Geez, it’s almost like you think this is a democratic society… (note the sarcasm)

  6. Republitarian, those are the most dishonest numbers I have ever seen. “Oh, the state is collect $200 MORE in taxes from people ever 6 months”. 

    Lies!  Lies!  Lies!  The only way the State collects more money from you is:

    1. You Earn more money
    2. You spend more money

    No tax rates have changed.  Remember, Ref C was NOT a tax rate increase.

  7. pacified –

    I didn’t say $200 more in tax every six months. Please read a little better. It’s an increase of $200 per person over the life of Ref C, so far and, we’ve only just begun. See? I can do numbers just fine, and I certainly don’t need to puff up the windfall. I rounded the population number up, you see; and did the calculation on a per capita basis, not on a per taxpayer basis. The “not a tax rate increase” statement is wrong. It is indeed a net tax tate increase.

  8. Hey Hippoponymous, lay off my friend BB.  He was “consistently opposed to both ref C & D and everyone knows that.”  At least that’s what he continues to spew off about.  On a local radio call in show, KVOR 740, Joseph Machelli BB is recorded as saying that he was “consistentanly” opposed to C & D.

    Because he says it, we must believe it.  Even if the truth, and facts say otherwise. And we’ll not talk about his voting record in Congress, left of Mark Udall and Diana DeGett.  Even on the radio program he talks more about his buddies Mark Udall and John Salazar more than the Repubs.  Explains why they co-sponsored his legiaslation more times (2 to 1 ) than the Repubs.

    Musgrave 2, Hefley 1, Tancredo 0.

    Not to mention the bills he couldn’t get co-sponsors for.  More than half of his bills proposed.  I mean really, just how hard is it to get a co-sponsore on a bill to recess, or accept a message from the President?

  9. In the real world, there is a saying; “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.”  Holtzman chose to lead.  Beauprez, I still can’t figure if he was getting out of the way (having it both ways), or following Bill Owen’ and Bruce Benson’s lead?

  10. Why Ref C is a tax increase:

    Year in and year out, pacifier and I have earned $10,000/yr. We have each paid $500 (5%) in tax to the state every year and at the end of every year, the state has refunded $250 to us both. Beginning this year, there will be no refund. pacifier is happy (delusional, but happy) because the 5% tax rate didn’t change and so there is no tax increase this year. I’m not so happy because I do numbers and I figure that my effective (net) tax rate just went from 2.5% to 5%. The state is giddy, of course. Yes, pacifier, Ref C is a tax increase.

  11. In the real world there is also another saying: “Cut your losses and run.” Marc has put over half a million dollars into his own campaign and he’s tanking. It’s time for him to get over himself and realize that he can’t lie and buy his way into the governor’s seat.

  12. There is a difference between a “tax increase” and a “tax rate increase” in this f’ed up system of the government taking my money, holding it for 8 months, then giving it back to me.  But for some reason, thats what the GOP loves to do.

  13. anonymous,

    Yeah, I know.  BB was consistently opposed because he says so.  Holtzman was wrong about Ref C, but at least he acted on his position.

    There’s no “extra money” or “windfall” except in Bob Beauprez’s mind.  We’re touchy about tax dollars in Colorado, and I agree with pacified that there is some dishonest commentary going on here.  Ref C didn’t change your tax rate.  It just didn’t.  And trying to pretend that what Coloradans voted on somehow doesn’t apply now that we’ve seen a couple months of growth seems like more Republicans trying to have it both ways to me.

  14. Hippoponymous –

    There is nothing dishonest about my comments. Ref C did, in fact, increase tax rates, at least effective tax rates which are really the only tax rates that matter. The Ref C pitch, “Hey guys, we already HAVE your money, we’re just not going to give any of it back from now on – so, what’s the diff?” glossed over the fact that Ref C was nothing but a tax increase. 10% tax  – 1% refund = 9% effective rate. 10% tax – 0% refund = 10% effective tax rate.

  15. Republitarian
    I argued those points before the referendum was voted on until I was blue in the face. No matter how you cut it they are keeping more of my money than before. I call that a tax increase.
    And we are reminded that a “majority” of Colorado voters voted for it. I say a majority of people who bothered to vote “barely” got it to pass.
    Not the landslide some lead us to believe.
    Do you really think they will give any back? HA.

  16. Gecko –

    Nope, I don’t think the Ref C windfall will be capped no matter how big it gets. It’s nice to hear the candidates talking about doing so, though.

  17. So… the problem is that the economy is growing more than expected and so the government is taking in more revenue?  This is bad news? 
    Ref C was passed so that the necessary fixes to deteriorating infrastructure and core programs could be done and we have tax rates (that were actually lowered in the not so distant past) set so that the needs of an expanding economy and population can be met with the needed government services.  The $10K effective tax rate argument is false simply because the individual making $10K previously and paying a net $250 in taxes is now making $11K and paying $500.  A higher effective tax rate on an even higher income seems like a good tradeoff.  That’s not to mention the lowered costs to individuals of a more efficient and fully funded government.  Better highways, limits on college tuition increases and fewer sick kids at school saves me quite a bit of cash.
    I’m not saying that higher taxes are wonderful, but it seems that we’re striking a good balance and until the tax burden and government services start dragging down the economy instead of keeping pace with expansion it seems that jumping the gun with a cap on revenue is just ideological BS without any real need.

  18. AsIf_I_care

    No, it’s not ideological BS. The Democrats and the Repulicrats and the Governor who used to be conservative worked everything out and figured something like $3.1 billion extra would do the trick. Now, that number is $4.2 billion. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine that number growing to twice that before the 5-yr Ref C term ends. So, that’s not ideological BS; that’s a real problem. What was originally going to be an increase in state revenue equal to a little more than $600 per capita could end up be closer to $1,600 per capita (not per taxpayer). I am one of a very small minority who believes that the only way to control government is through cashflow. The less cash, the smaller the government. That’s practical, not ideological. Now, the state’s take may be much much larger than intended. Why give the state so much more cash – possibly much more than it asked for? To save you quite a bit of cash? Uh … no.

  19. Republitarian,

    Yes, starve the beast, we’ve heard it before.  Yawn.  And yes indeed it’s an ideology.  It’s the core ideology of the Republican Party: the age-old struggle to find a better justification for selfishness.


    And we are reminded that a “majority” of Colorado voters voted for it [Referendum C]. I say a majority of people who bothered to vote “barely” got it to pass.

    Poor voter participation and a close election?  Sounds like every ballot initiative or candidate contest in the country.

    Putting the word majority in quotes doesn’t magically transform it into something else.  Colorado voted Yes on Referendum C.

  20. VOR,

    Read more. Then post. Then you might understand what you are posting about.

    Could you write that again, using shorter words?  I’m sure you’re saying something useful here, but I’m having a hard time understanding it.  Maybe if you type slower…

  21. You posted about there not being any projected surpluses in accordance with the voter Blue Book. Read on the subject, find the most recent outlooks on Ref C revenues, and then post. When you post things that are just absurdly untrue, you make yourself look like an incompetent intern.

  22. Hippoponymous –

    It’s practical ideology, then. Or ideological practicality. You shouldn’t let the subject bore you to yawning. It’s an important question. Can we starve the beast into submission? No, though I wish we could. Can we put a leash on the beast and feed it enough, but not more than enough for its minimal health and our improved well-being? That’s the question. Of all the beasts spawned by man, government is the greediest and hungriest and yet the most loved sometimes for its warmth, too – by many, the majority often. Is this the land of the free and the home of the brave? That’s the ideal. It takes much more thought and imagination to control the beast than it does to feed it and give it the run of the range and to hope that it grows more and more teats for suckling. What’s the downside of trying to starve the beast other than it likely is a trivial pursuit? I think it’s worth a try – call it political sport. Call it fighting the beast with water balloons that do nothing more than make the beast snarl and flatten its warm furry coat enough to show the pussy nodules everywhere under its skin.

  23. Sorry. I meant “pussey nodules”, as in nodules full of puss. I didn’t mean “pussy.” Does anyone know how to spell the adjective that describes “puss?” I know it’s not “pussy” after re-reading my post.

    My apologies to the sensitive.

  24. Ah ha, according to, “pussy” is the right word, but it relates to “pus”, not “puss.” Apologies to anyone who might feel like gagging.

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