Colorado government sector lobbying
This practice is controversial because public funds are spent to lobby for an agenda not subject to direct approval by voters, and outcomes may be contrary to taxpayers' benefit.
Despite the fact that lobbying is allegedly less common for county governments, which according to law are extensions of the state, counties in Colorado are active in lobbying. Besides membership in government sector lobbying associations (see below), counties register lobbyists to represent their interests. Adams County and Arapahoe County have lobbied the federal government since at least 2002. In 2004, El Paso County hired a lobbyist for in-state lobbying.
The sheriff has lobbied against legislation, including a "bike safety" bill in 2009.
Opposition to tax reform amendments
Several quasi-governmental agencies used taxpayer funds to oppose two tax reform amendments and one proposition initiated by citizen groups on the November 2010 ballot. Colorado Counties, Inc., the Colorado Municipal League and the Special Districts Association each donated $6,250 to fight these taxpayer-initiated reforms for a total of $18,750.
These tax reforms include:
- Amendment 60, which would reform the property tax system, stop taxation by unelected boards and end illegal tax increases without voter approval,
- Amendment 61, which would limit government borrowing, restore the 1876 ban on state borrowing, require voter approval for local borrowing and repay all state and local debt
- Proposition 101, which would lower vehicle, income, and phone taxes and fees.
Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations
- Colorado Association of School Boards
- Colorado Association of School Executives
- Jefferson County Education Association
- Public Educators Advocating for Kids
- Boulder Valley Education Association
- Colorado Assessors Association
- Colorado Association of Libraries
- Colorado Association Transit Agencies
- Colorado Clerks Association
- Colorado Coroners Association
- Colorado Association of Conservation Districts
- Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials