TABOR Committee presents to the Japan Local Government Center
On January 16, 2019 two representatives of the Japan Local Government Center met with TABOR Committee Chairman Penn Pfiffner to learn what proponents of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights know about the positive aspects of fiscal discipline.
The Center has seven offices around the globe that compare and contrast and learn from other countries’ practices. Working out of the New York City office is Ms. Kaori Kurauchi, an official with the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs. She was accompanied by Dr. Seth Benjamin, a Senior Researcher in the New York office. Ms. Kurauchi is on a two year assignment to research tax and expenditure limitations and other government fiscal limitations in America and Canada.
In a 90 minute meeting, Pfiffner offered information about outcomes for TABOR such as tax burden ranking and adequacy of funding for K-12 education. He observed that TABOR honors and follows the American system of checks & balances.
Pfiffner emphasized that voter approval for local tax and debt measures generally are met with voter approval but that many of the State requests have been turned back, and discussed why. He made points about TABOR design. He also helped the researchers understand the basic expectation of controlling increases in spending for public goods that result in less money available for private needs. He pointed out that Colorado governments are more predictable and stable than troubled locations like Illinois. He observed that TABOR has led to more citizen engagement and the avoidance of poorly-thought out proposals.
During their tour to Colorado, the two researchers met with Colorado Counties, Inc., the Cities of Boulder and Broomfield, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and someone from the Executive branch of the State Government. The TABOR Committee was likely the only entity to present a thoroughly positive viewpoint on TABOR.