What we found out is that we live by two sets of rules. One for the people of Colorado and another for the elites who govern us, the legislature. They get to lie on the ballot, and we just proved it. One rule for me and a different rule for thee.
By taking the bill that created Prop HH and bringing it forward as a citizen’s initiative, I was able to get it in front of the Title Board, the three-member governmental committee that writes the ballot language for the measures you read on the ballot.
But when the legislature refers a question to the ballot, they get to write their own ballot title and don’t have to go through the board process. Meaning the legislature gets to lie and omit to tempt you to vote for what they want.
On Prop HH they start by saying “Shall the state reduce property taxes,” (you had me at hello) and don’t ever mention that it will rob you of your TABOR tax refunds, causing the largest tax increase in Colorado history.
The Title Board started working on their title for the “HH” I brought them, then said it was wildly complex and confusing, perhaps so confusing that they might not be able to set a title for it at all!
As they were editing the staff draft of the title, to reflect the truth of Prop HH, they changed the wording from “reducing property taxes” to “concerning changes in property taxes”.
Wait a darn second! From “reduce property taxes,” to “changes in property taxes”!?! That’s a world of difference. It modifies the whole theme of HH, doesn’t it?
At this point, panic set in. See, all three members of this board are appointed by Democrats and it might be very uncomfortable for their bosses if they put out a truthful ballot title.
They needed to figure out how to save face and get out of this bad situation.
And then something I have never seen in my 25 years of being in front of this board happened. They called an Emergency Executive Session to discuss how not to set a title.
When they reconvened, they claimed my copy of HH, like SB-303 itself, referred to statute that doesn’t exist yet, and immediately rejected the whole initiative.
Convenient, don’t you think?
But here’s where they left it. Here’s what the title board was working on as their ballot title for Prop HH, before they cut and ran:
“Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning changes in property taxes, and in connection therewith, creating a property tax limit for certain local governments limited to no more than inflation and allowing the local governments to impose a mill limit to exceed that limit under circumstances; temporarily reducing the evaluation for assessment of certain residential and nonresidential property; creating new subclasses of property; requiring state surplus revenue that the state is authorized to retain and spend to be used to reimburse certain local governments for lost property tax revenue and spend to be used to reimburse certain local governments for lost property tax revenue to be deposited in the state education fund to backfill the reduction in school district property tax revenue; transferring general fund money to the state public school fund and toa cash fund to also be used for the reimbursements; and making an appropriation?”
Contrast that with the seductive language which is on your ballot, written by the legislature:
“Shall the state reduce property taxes for homes and businesses, including expanding property tax relief for seniors, and backfill counties, water districts, fire districts ambulance and hospital districts, and other local governments and fund school districts by using a portion of state surplus up to the proposition HH cap as defined in this measure?”
The fairer and more accurate ballot language from the Title Board would never get passed by the voters of Colorado. And we all know it.
When Kyle Clark of 9NEWS finds that the Yes on HH crowd is lying, well, that in itself is news. But the lies were so blatant, that the truth is bound to come out. Truth is winning. Check out his report on the misleading and deceptive advertisements:
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