“The Pain of FASTER is Just Beginning” – Editors at Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle “get it” on Car Tax
by The Peripatetic Pundit | 2:44 pm, August 5, 2009 | Comments Off
In marked contrast to the big-government elitist Denver Post editorial board, numerous newspapers around the state are beginning to take notice of the outrageous assault on Colorado drivers in the form of the “FASTER” Colorado Car Tax – and the political implications for elections in 2010 as more and more voters are impacted by this punitive and regressive tax (er, “fees“). The most recent in picking up the topic is the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle; in their latest (August) edition, the topic dominates the editorial page (“The Pain of FASTER is Just Beginning” by the Chronicle’s Editorial Board, and a guest editorial – “County Clerks Required to Enforce Legislature’s New Fees“, by Arapahoe County Clerk Nancy Doty) and is also prominently featured on the front page (“Reverse Robin Hooding – State and Local Governments Drastically Increase Automotive Fines and Fees”).
What has citizens up in arms is the drastic increase in car registration fees and large late fee fines. The measure is expecting to gouge over $250,000,000 from the car-owning taxpayers in Colorado. The outcry has centered on the new requirement to register annually trailers and up to $100 fine for registering late.
The budding Colorado Car Tax Revolt may doom the political careers of the legislators who voted for the bill, particularly bill sponsors Sen. Dan Gibbs (D – SD16) and Rep. Joe Rice (D – HD38), as noted in the editorial:
The primary sponsor of the legislation in the House was Representative Joe Rice, a Democrat and the former Mayor of Glendale. His district in Littleton leans Republican and the unpopularity of FASTER assures him of a difficult fight to retain his representative seat in the legislature.
The Colorado Car Tax may also spell the political end for Governor Bill Ritter, who signed the bill into law, as has been the experience of governors in other states who raised taxes on vehicles:
The raising of $250,000,000 in fees every year from the economically challenged citizens of the state may sink Ritter’s re-election chances. Such massive increased burdens on automobile owners have lost governors their elected positions in many other states from New Jersey to Virginia.
Finally, more and more people are becoming aware of the role played in the imposition of this Car Tax, along with increases in several other taxes and “fees”, by the Colorado Supreme Court, which has four state Supreme Court justices (who cleared the way for this and other tax and spending legislation) facing the voters in retention elections in November 2010:
In our guest editorial section Arapahoe County Clerk Nancy Doty points out that by calling this massive new burden on the taxpayers a “fee” and not a “tax,” Governor Ritter avoided having to bring this measure to a vote of citizens as required under TABOR. However the highly politicized Colorado Supreme Court in the case of Barber v. Ritter obliterated any distinction between the two and as long as the money is not headed toward the general fund the voters are out of luck.
Previous articles in this space have noted the hypocrisy of criticizing county clerks for redirecting the (righteous) anger of Colorado taxpayers to the source; critiqued the elitist ”shut up and pay” attitude expressed by your would-be betters; spoken out in defense of the county clerks who (unjustly) have borne the brunt of citizens’ ire; and laid bare the lack of justification for imposing “late fees” in the vast majority of cases.
However, the recent Chronicle editorial summed it up as well as anything:
DON’T JUST SUFFER THROUGH THE PAIN – TAKE ACTION! You can sign a petition to roll back this unjustified increase – contact Colorado Tax Reform. Meanwhile, REFUSE to pay this unfair tax (er, fee) – DEMAND an immediate and retroactive rollback whenever the legislature next convenes. Contact Governor Ritter, the FASTER bill’s primary sponsor Joe Rice, and your state representatives (House and Senate) and demand action!
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