Americans for Prosperity and State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg: Transportation Bill Was an Unconstitutional Power Grab

Apr 27, 2022 by AFP

DENVER, CO – Recently, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg penned an op-ed in Colorado Politics titled: Transportation Bill Was an Unconstitutional Power Grab.

To read the column, click here.

In the column, Mallory and Sonnenberg write:

For nearly three decades, the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights has been a part of the Colorado constitution. For nearly as long, politicians in Denver have treated it like a suggestion.

Almost from the moment of its approval by the voters in 1992, elected officials have acted in bad faith in attempting to get around TABOR’s taxpayer protections — particularly the requirement that taxpayers first have a say before elected officials are able to raise taxes.

Attempts to repeal the constitutional provision have been met with defeat. In the most recent effort less than three years ago, the people of Colorado voted to uphold TABOR by an impressive margin of 56% in favor and 44% opposed.

And still the politicians ignore it.

In June 2021, the legislature passed and Gov. Jared Polis signed SB 21-260  into law. The measure created new sources of dedicated funding and new state enterprises ostensibly to support the planning, funding, development, construction, maintenance and supervision of Colorado’s transportation system. It paid for these programs with new “fees” on gasoline sales, ride-sharing apps, deliveries and vehicle registrations, among others.

But SB 21-260 is less about transportation than about power. And it’s a clear violation of both TABOR and Proposition 117, which voters approved in 2020 to require a popular vote before the legislature can create new state enterprises that exceed $100 million in revenue in the first five years of operation.

To read the rest of the column, click here.