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Battle Intensifies After Introduction of Gas Tax in CO, National Coalition Expands in Opposition

May 14, 2021 by AFP

DENVER – Today, the Colorado Taxpayers Coalition, a group of local, state, and national advocacy partners focused on protecting Colorado taxpayers by defeating the legislature’s new gas tax legislation, announced the expansion of the coalition ahead of the final Senate vote. New members include Springs Taxpayers and Broomfield Taxpayer Matters. The bill, SB21-260, would initially add two cents per gallon to gasoline purchases and additional fees for the use of ride-share services and deliveries by mid-2022.

Existing members of the coalition include Americans for Prosperity-Colorado (AFP-CO), National Taxpayers Union (NTU), Colorado Women’s Alliance, TABOR Committee, Colorado Rising State Action, Independence Institute, Colorado Union of Taxpayers (CUT), Centennial Institute, and the Limited Government Forum.

AFP-CO State Director Jesse Mallory issued the following statement:

“Members continue to join this coalition as the consequences of this bill continue to mount with new suggested charges on delivery services for online retail stores that were added during the final hour. As if a 197-page bill wasn’t enough, our legislators have decided to make this proposal even longer with less than 30 days left of the legislative session for public comment and debate. All of this for a bill that Coloradans have repeatedly stressed they do not want in the first place. As the chaos continues, we will continue to ramp up our efforts and double down for the sake of hardworking taxpayers and their families.”

Additional Statements from Coalition Partners:

National Taxpayers Union Vice President of State Affairs Leah Vukmir:

“Lawmakers in Colorado are completely ignoring the will of the very people who have elected them to office. This 197-page pig of a bill places a massive burden on the citizens and businesses in Colorado at a time when they are already struggling to recover from the ravaging economic effects of the pandemic.  It is irresponsible to disguise these tax increases as fees. By circumventing the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, these lawmakers are thumbing their noses at the hard-working people of Colorado. Lawmakers should be looking within government to find ways to solve budgetary problems instead of asking the people to give more.”

Springs Taxpayers Co-founder Laura Carno:

“Whether they call it a tax or a fee, Colorado residents are sick of being government’s ATM. Every dollar they spend was a dollar someone earned. It doesn’t belong to government.”

Broomfield Taxpayer Matters Rick Fernandez:

“As our families, our communities, and our state continues to grapple with challenging economic times due to the policies of our state government, introducing a series of new gas fees on the backs of those same families is unjust and unfair. At a time when we are all struggling to keep food on our tables, for the legislature to attempt to sneak in the side door and take even more from the taxpaying citizens is tone deaf and unconscionable. The legislature needs to honor the right of the voters to approve new fees, drop this bill, and go back and find a responsible way to fund our transportation needs.”

Background:

AFP-CO launched its own statewide grassroots campaign in February to urge constituents to contact their elected official during the legislative session to advise against the bill. These efforts include door knocks, educational events, phone banking, direct mail, and digital ads. A poll was also conducted that revealed constituents in several state senate districts strongly oppose the proposal.