There’s good news and bad news for Coloradans as the annual state budget battle looms.
The good news, if you tend to focus on the revenue side of the ledger, is that the state is relatively flush with cash at the moment.
This helps explain the extra spring in the step one notices in legislators, lobbyists and special interests swarming the capitol, as they imagine all the wonderful things they can do with that windfall.
But this can also be bad news if you tend (as I do) to take the taxpayer’s point of view, since the resulting feeding frenzy could leave little thought to socking-away savings or returning a dividend to taxpayers as required by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
You must remember TABOR, approved by voters back in the early 1990s? It’s been an invaluable ally to the state’s bill-payers ever since, which also makes it the bane of politicians and spending interests, who deeply resent the restraints it imposes on their ability to tax and spend at will.
Every budget season the debate stirs anew over whether TABOR has been good or bad for the state. And this year that debate has taken on a new urgency for a number of reasons. Continue reading