A state grand jury indicted Bruce, best known as the author of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR, on four counts of evading taxes, filing a false return, failing to file a return and attempting to influence a public servant. Three of the four counts are felonies, and the most serious of the charges could bring up to six years in prison and a $500,000 fine. [...]
[T]he indictment says that Bruce filed a false state tax return for 2005, when he reported no taxable income. In fact, the indictment charges, Bruce earned hundreds of thousands of dollars that year through wages, interest income and the payoff to him of a real estate loan. When state Revenue Department officials questioned Bruce about the 2005 return, he provided documents containing false information, the indictment alleges.
Bruce’s arrest is the second time that he’s faced legal sanction. In 2008, when Bruce briefly served as a Republican state representative, he became the first Colorado lawmaker in the state House’s 131-year history to be formally censured after he kicked a newspaper photographer while waiting to be sworn into office.
Sadly, Bruce’s TABOR measure, which drastically limited Colorado’s ability to tax and to spend money, also turned out to be a giant kick in the gut for Colorado families. TABOR caused Colorado’s average teacher salary to fall to 50th in the nation, and it doubled the number of low-income children without health insurance. At one point, Colorado was so strapped for funds that it suspended the requirement that school children be fully vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough because the state could no longer afford to buy the vaccine.
Indeed, Bruce’s anti-tax crusade was such a disaster for Colorado that the state’s voters firmly rejected its prescription, enacting dozens of “de-Brucing” provisions designed to take the teeth out of TABOR. Bruce, however, apparently thinks he’s found his own solution to de-Brucing — if the state rejects his anti-tax crusade, he’ll just refuse to pay his taxes altogether.