Editor’s note. Here are Douglas Bruce’s comments about this article. They have been edited for space and clarity.
A reporter writes about TABOR (Taxpayers Bill Of Rights) and won’t interview its author.
TABOR does NOT use the “national inflation” rate, but the only Colorado CPI figures, which are for Denver-Boulder-Greeley.
Rep. Dan Thurlow says TABOR makes politicians “cheat” and thinks a statute (Referendum C) can amend a constitutional formula. That is incorrect.
Colorado State University political science professor John Straayer doesn’t understand the state can still spend money any way it wants; it just can’t take a bigger share without voter approval. That is the major change to its “fiscal authority.”
Money for transportation and higher education has NOT “eroded.” It just has not increased at Straayers’ desired rate, and the sources of funding have changed so that user pay is a preferable source.
Referendum C was supposed to “solve the problem” of revenue control, and end in five years. It did not solve the fictional “ratchet effect” problem and, twelve years later, we are losing $1 BILLION yearly in excess revenue refunds. The anti-TABOR sides’ solution is to try another statutory change to the constitutional formula.
The state publicly says its total spending is about $27.1 billion yearly, almost three times what it was when TABOR passed.
I just found out that amount does not as it includes “continuing appropriations” NOT made by the JBC (Joint Budget Committee) annually.
That’s another two or three BILLION or more than the Colorado budget shows.
Colorado lawmakers turn to ‘fees’ to avoid Taxpayer Bill of Rights limits
By Michael Carroll / September 11, 2017
Colorado state lawmakers increasingly engage in fiscal gymnastics to get around provisions of the state’s landmark Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), according to both supporters and critics of the state’s 25-year-old constitutional amendment. Continue reading