The creator of Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights is poised to be its greatest, if not loudest, defender.
Former state Rep. Douglas Bruce tells Colorado Politics a second opposition group to November's statewide Proposition CC led by some of the state's best-known Republicans formed last month.
Voters in November will decide whether to give up their future TABOR refunds to allow the state to invest more in education and transportation. Taxpayers get a break whenever the state collects more tax revenue that it needs to cover a constitutional spending cap.
The question was referred to the ballot by the Democratic legislature this spring with the promise that it would allow growth to pay for itself. As TABOR requires, voters get to decide whether to approve the tax hike.
"Dear patriots," Bruce began in a mass email to his supporters Tuesday.
Since he wrote and helped pass TABOR in 1992, Bruce has served on the El Paso County Commission and in the state House of Representatives. He also has served two prison stints related to tax filings, financial disclosures and probation violations.
"Don't collect money; urge people to spend their own money," he wrote to supporters of his TABOR defense. "There is no campaign committee."
Bruce wrote that the campaign "will be a low-budget, high-intensity campaign." The website is available by clicking here.
"Mark your calendar," Bruce wrote to his TABOR supporters. "Recruit your spouse and children."
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the original opposition group, No on CC, released a lengthy statement arguing the ballot measure is unworkable and a bad deal for Coloradans. The statement called out Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat who has talked about lowering taxes.
"If the governor is serious about a tax rate reduction, we welcome that conversation," state Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley, said in the opposition group's statement. "But people see through this current state government deal making. It's a sleight-of-hand with taxpayer money that's nothing more than a giant money grab, tricking voters into giving up more of their hard-earned dollars.
"The state isn't starved for cash. So, if the math doesn't work for taxpayers, there shouldn't be a deal. If Democrats decide to pull and replace CC, I'm confident Coloradans will reject that too."
Last month, the Colorado Supreme Court cleared the way for backers of a separate citizen initiative seeking full repeal of TABOR can try to petition the measure onto a future ballot.
The ballot measure, known as Initiative 3, is the brainchild of the Colorado Fiscal Institute, which has not said whether it will move forward with the full repeal try.