WHAT IS TABOR?
The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) was initiated and passed by Colorado voters just over 30 years ago. Over $8 billion dollars has been refunded to statewide taxpayers since 1992.
TABOR provides modest fiscal restraint over government spending at the state and local jurisdictions. It’s considered the gold standard for tax and expenditure limits in the USA and other nations.
TABOR also requires voter approval for tax increases or debt.
Politicians don’t like TABOR. Taxpayers love it.
HOW ARE REBATES RETURNED TO TAXPAYERS?
TABOR rebates at the statewide level have been returned through income tax rate reductions, the senior and disabled veteran homestead exemption, a 6-tier refund based on the income tax paid, and direct check refunds to taxpayers.
TABOR rebates at the local government level are returned to taxpayers through property tax mill levy reductions, direct check refunds, and other means where the tax paid-in can be returned back to the individual taxpayers.
DOES TABOR ALLOW GOVERNMENT GROWTH?
TABOR allows moderate and calculated government spending increases. The spending formula applies to state and local governments
At the statewide level, government revenue is allowed to grow by inflation plus population increase.
The 2023-2024 TABOR growth limit for state government is 8.5% based on inflation and population growth for calendar year 2022.
At the local level, government revenue is allowed to grow by inflation plus local growth which can vary by area.
Billions in over-collected taxes put back in our pocket thanks to TABOR.
More to come if we defeat Proposition HH.
TABOR Rebate Forecast
The June 2023 Economic Forecast (page 19) estimates we have these upcoming TABOR rebates (assuming Prop HH fails).
That’s $7.34 billion in projected rebates
Proposition HH will affect those refunds indefinitely because there’s no sunset or voter review clause.
Politicians get to extend Prop HH (and rewrite it if they like since it’s just state statute). Our consent is gone forever.
The illustration below was composed by legislative staff and presents the TABOR rebate scenarios should Prop HH pass.
source: Colorado Ballot Analysis ‘Blue Book’
Attacks on Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights never end and the anti-TABOR bullies keep trying to take more of our money though TABOR obviously is good for the taxpayers and Colorado.
If you dig into the Prop HH details, you’re going to see reference to the Referendum C cap which is higher than the TABOR revenue cap.
Ref C passed by 52% in 2005. It claimed it would allow state government to keep an additional $3.6 billion dollars over 5 years. The fine print, not widely advertised to voters, was that the new Ref C cap allowed state government to keep part of our TABOR refunds forever.
The $3.6 billion of forfeited TABOR refunds advertised by Ref C proponents has now resulted in the state government keeping an additional $34.5 billion more of our money!
This Denver Post media editorial clipped below, as just one example, did not say one word about the never-ending tax hike quietly embedded in Ref C.
Politicians have chipped away at the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights since it was added to our state constitution by voters. Look at Referendum C. Billions more to government over years but the politicos had the nerve to say it wasn’t a permanent tax hike. Shameless actions. Voters fell for it.
Look at the Gallagher Amendment repeal in the 2020 election. This action removed a property tax limit from the state constitution and put that power in the hands of politicians. Now they want to play deceitful games with voters.
It’s a lot of numbers and scenarios with Prop HH but it wasn’t designed by people who want you to keep your TABOR refunds. The more you know, the more you’ll want to vote no on Prop HH.